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Author Topic: The Origin of the Holophoner  (Read 6787 times)
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Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
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« on: 06-22-2008 15:28 »
« Last Edit on: 06-22-2008 15:28 »

Mis shrugged, and turned again to Magnifico. He unwrapped the package, "Know what this is, boy?"

Magnifico fairly hurled himself out of his seat and caught the multi-keyed instrument. He fingered the myriad knobby contacts and threw a sudden back somersault of joy, to the imminent destruction of the nearby furniture.

He croaked, "A Visi-Sonor and of a make to distill joy out of a dead man's heart." His long fingers caressed softly and slowly, pressing lightly on contacts with a rippling motion, resting momentarily on one key then another and in the air before them there was a soft glowing rosiness, just inside the range of vision.

...

Mis said in a conversational tone to Bayta, "Ever hear a Visi-Sonor?"

"Once," said Bayta, equally casually, "at a concert of rare instruments. I wasn't impressed."

"Well, I doubt that you came across good playing. There are very few really good players. It's not so much that it requires physical co-ordination a multi-bank piano requires more, for instance as a certain type of free-wheeling mentality." In a lower voice, "That's why our living skeleton there might be better than we think. More often than not, good players are idiots otherwise. It's one of those queer setups that makes psychology interesting."


-Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire

Found this while reading said book. Thought it was interesting.
Seymour_My_Hero

Professor
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« Reply #1 on: 06-22-2008 15:46 »

That is cool!

On the commentary for "Parasites Lost" they said that the Holophoner was based off of the Visi-Soner.
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #2 on: 06-22-2008 16:03 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Sine Wave:More often than not, good players are idiots otherwise. It's one of those queer setups that makes psychology interesting."[/i]

Interesting

Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #3 on: 06-22-2008 17:43 »

Awesome find, Sine Wave.

 
Quote
There are very few really good players. It's not so much that it requires physical co-ordination a multi-bank piano requires more, for instance as a certain type of free-wheeling mentality.

That might explain why so many kids were decent at the holophoner despite Leela's claim that so few people know how to play it well: I imagine that the average child would probably have a stronger "free-wheeling mentality" than the average adult.
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #4 on: 06-22-2008 21:07 »

Sweet, you posted it!

 
Quote
Originally posted by Officer 1BDI:
Awesome find, Sine Wave.

Isn't it? - I called it a capital find.   laff

"Myriad knobby contacts" that emit a "soft glowing rosiness"... sounds like a pretty apt description of a holophoner, indeed.
And it does make sense that kids would probably be better at it, since they might be less inhibited and more unreserved while playing it, thus "freeing" the instrument's capacity for maximum effect.
Going by that theory, then, Fry would also have the potential to be good at it, given his often "childlike" nature and guilelessness.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #5 on: 06-22-2008 21:37 »

And with the robotic hands that made up for his self-injured hand-eye coordination lobe, he was! Hooray for fan-based continuity filling!
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #6 on: 06-22-2008 22:15 »

I never thought of that. It actally makes alot of sense that it might be from him screwing with his brain. Bravo Sine Wave.
Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #7 on: 06-22-2008 22:53 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Sine Wave:

-Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire

Oh, it's been years since I read that last... :sigh:
ShepherdofShark

Space Pope
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« Reply #8 on: 06-23-2008 13:56 »

Fantastic find. I will buy that book now.

 
Quote
Originally posted by Sine Wave:
And with the robotic hands that made up for his self-injured hand-eye coordination lobe, he was! Hooray for fan-based continuity filling!

I think slightly more accurate would be to say that the worms improved his hand-eye coordination lobe so that he could actually play the holophoner well. Then Fry returned himself pretty much to "normal" by damaging it and then later, with the Robot devils hands, he was able to overcome his inherently stupid fingers.

My brain hurts!
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #9 on: 06-23-2008 20:56 »

Actually, since everything instantly reverted when the worms left (who knows how), damage done to himself unrepaired by the worms would be added on top of losing what the worms gave him. Not that it really matters.
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #10 on: 06-23-2008 21:11 »
« Last Edit on: 06-23-2008 21:11 »

re: what ShepherdofShark said - Yes, but that's the more literal way of looking at it. More straightforwardly based on canon, that is. One could also argue that when he went on the rampage against the worms his abilities dropped a couple notches LOWER than they previously were, which led to him having to rectify that situation later with the robotic hands.

That's sort of what I meant above, my point was that I feel Fry could probably have gotten good at the holophoner on his own, without any, um, outside assistance, but just with further practice... due exactly to his "childish" simplicity and oft-maligned "immaturity". It's too bad he was in such a hurry to make a pact with the Robot Devil.

Sine: I was typing this while you posted!!
ShepherdofShark

Space Pope
****
« Reply #11 on: 06-23-2008 21:30 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Sine Wave:
Not that it really matters.

Everything about Futurama matters. Even conjecture.

In fact, especially conjecture.


My brain hurts!
FordMustang

Bending Unit
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« Reply #12 on: 06-23-2008 23:16 »

I agree with KM73 that Fry could have eventually gotten good at a holophoner because he has the child's soul that so many adults lose as they get older, hence a big reason why we will always love older musicians who come to the talent late- they bring something new and special, but sometimes their teachers do not see it right away since they work so much with child prodigies....  But you have to admit Philip J Fry  did not have the patience to let it develop, per the episode. 

I love that so many people are mentioning the Asimov reference and  the Mule.  I still always have the Michael Whelan/Foundation illustration of the Mule holding his instrument... while it probably is more like a hooter (melodica) in the Asimov universe, the Futurama holophone does it justice.  Actually in shape and sound, the Holophoner a la Groening most closely resembles a superbly-decorated Armenian duduk with an imaging device.  Certainly its sounds and shape is very like a high quality, rare, apricot wood Duduk... I have been basing it off of some sounds and images of Duduk artists in the world music field (e.g. Maryam Matossian and David and Kay Parsons' Armenian folk music Celestial Harmonics tracks), but that is just my view, of course. 

 
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #13 on: 06-27-2008 14:49 »

 
Quote
But you have to admit Philip J Fry  did not have the patience to let it develop, per the episode. 

No. But as speculation, it would have been interesting to see what might have happened if he had tried playing it a little longer on his own, sans benefit of worms or Hadean hands. In fact, one of the things that was a little off to me about that episode was how quickly they zoomed off down to Robot Hell.. because the writers had to pack a lot of things in, of course.
(But compare that version of Fry, who was ready to go off and get robotic hands, to the current version in BWABB...   roll eyes  )
BeeJay

Crustacean
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« Reply #14 on: 06-27-2008 21:44 »

I've always thought that the holophoner player needs the same type of disconnected brain synapses that are present in today's typical dulcimer player.

Short explanation: Most dulcimer players are AARP members of long standing after a long career of keeping house.

(The BEEJer plays the dulcimer, but for some reason is neither eligible for AARP membership and has participated in remunerative work for years.)
thetor66

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #15 on: 08-08-2008 14:20 »

haha i thought they totally made that up
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
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« Reply #16 on: 08-09-2008 02:28 »

Cool posting, Sine Wave,

I was always curious whether the fact that the Nibblonian homeworld was at the center of the universe was a little in-joke about the fact that the "Second Foundation is at the center of the galaxy."

Rolandk73

Crustacean
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« Reply #17 on: 09-10-2008 22:53 »

I've been a fan of foundation since before windows 95!
Archonix

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 09-11-2008 15:58 »

Just an aside, the wife just gave me a thought that perhaps the imagery from a Holophoner doesn't even work if you're deaf. She thinks the implication in Devils Hands was that Leela couldn't see what was going on. Even in an Opera it's possible to pick up a basic idea of the plot from what the actors are doing. Maybe we're over-analysing it. smile
* Archonix just put on some Duduk music. Wooo, pretty...
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #19 on: 09-11-2008 18:47 »

Hmm.  Interesting.
I'm pretty sure there was some thread somewhere that contained some speculation as to what a holophoner experience would be like for blind and/or deaf people.
Also, one can make all sorts of symbolic interpretations of Leela not being able to 'see' what was going on; such as, I wonder if Fry playing it better suddenly made Leela see something new in him, or if it just simply broke down some of the barriers she had in place against him.
aknightofni

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #20 on: 09-12-2008 02:36 »

I first read foundation in grade 4 I think. It's been a long while since the last time I read them too. Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation were good books. The ones after those started to get worse.

Foundation's Edge / Foundation and Earth left me wishing I had stuck to the original trilogy. Taking the fate of mankind out of our own hands kinda defeated the purpose of the first three books. I remember at the end of Foundation and Earth when he was defending his Gaia choice for the universe and not the Seldon plan. I was totally with the historian siding with Seldon. Plus I hated that little energy manipulating kid they picked up and the all knowing robot.

I wasn't too keen on the Second Foundation at first with their mind control, but sort of hoped the first foundation would team up rather than try to wipe them out. I felt a whole lot better about it when he introduced the First Foundations psy-shields, always feel better when good ol' human Engineering is on top of things. But ultimately it was Mankind making its own way. Then over the course of two books (and what, a few years?) it became, well. Fuck that. Lets go with the giant mind planet and really old robot guy. Hundreds of years of being able to forge our own destiny out the window!

It is always good to see references to works like Foundation in Futurama, one of the reason it is such a great show the writers know their Sci-Fi!
Archonix

Space Pope
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« Reply #21 on: 09-12-2008 10:40 »

I think it was obvious Asimov was losing it when he tried to merge all his universes into one big, amorphous plotblob.
no.9 man

Bending Unit
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« Reply #22 on: 09-21-2008 15:43 »

Fry was born to play the holophonor
Curious Gorge

Bending Unit
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« Reply #23 on: 09-26-2008 18:20 »

Does anything reckon the Holophoner will ever make another appearance? Methinks probably not.

Also on a loosely related note isn't there a line in one of the episodes that implies Fry is a decent enough guitarist? This is it out of 'Luck of the Fryrish'

Narrator: [voice-over; in movie] After a whirlwind fling with Icelandic supermodel Njord, Fry scored a string of top 10 hits with his rock band Leaf Seven, known for their hypnotic rhythms, driving baselines and memorable hooks.

Fry: That's what I'm known for!

Or did I just imagine that implication?
iceiwynd

Bending Unit
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« Reply #24 on: 09-26-2008 18:59 »

Nah, I see Fry being more like Bart Simpson at guitar - eager, enthusiastic, and then upset and quitting once he figures out he's not going to be amazing right away.

I think that was just Fry being more spiteful than anything.
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #25 on: 09-26-2008 19:07 »

Well, right, I don't know if you can read too much into that. It rather strikes me as another one of Fry's typical statements; which of course don't always have to make logical sense.

He was somewhat caught up in the fervor of believing his brother had stolen everything from him at that time, and thus it was probably more of a belligerent/histrionic declaration.   Or his imagination.
So not sure if that should be taken too literally.

Does anything reckon the Holophoner will ever make another appearance?

Oh, I think it probably will. Most likely during the last movie. Have a feeling it will still factor in somehow, though how I couldn't say.
Curious Gorge

Bending Unit
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« Reply #26 on: 09-26-2008 19:50 »

Yes, you're both probably right...plus as a guitarist myself I know how much dexterity it takes to play to even a reasonable standard and I get the feeling his 'stupid fingers' would hold him back...

Does anything reckon the Holophoner will ever make another appearance?

Oh, I think it probably will. Most likely during the last movie. Have a feeling it will still factor in somehow, though how I couldn't say.

Well...it remains to be seen I suppose, I'd like to see it make another appearance as it's often been a good if subtle way of making the audience realise just what a surprisingly deep character Fry is...though we'll probably have to wait till ITWGY to find out as I can't see it being relevant at all to Bender's Game.
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #27 on: 09-26-2008 20:44 »

Right - Guitaring is hard.
Particularly good guitaring.

Quote
I'd like to see it make another appearance as it's often been a good if subtle way of making the audience realise just what a surprisingly deep character Fry is...

Yes, the holophoner was used well as a symbol to show Fry and Leela's feelings on both sides and as a possible means of bringing out Leela's suppressed feelings. But in a way it was also a symbol of Fry's frustration too.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #28 on: 09-26-2008 21:48 »

I'm pretty sure it's not a cymbal. tongue
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
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« Reply #29 on: 09-27-2008 05:11 »
« Last Edit on: 09-27-2008 05:21 »

^ ...Oh jeeze.  laff

Also on a loosely related note isn't there a line in one of the episodes that implies Fry is a decent enough guitarist?

km73 beat me to it, but I thought they were aiming for a joke with that line: Fry's just standing there, watching this guy one-up him at his old life in general, and he's so pissed off that he's calling him out on every detail, even the irrational ones that Fry himself would [or could] have never achieved if he'd stayed in the 21st century.  It's possible he can play the guitar, but I don't think it's that likely (for reasons also mentioned before).

Then again, before "Fryrish" I never would have guessed Fry had the coordination to pull off some of those break dancing moves, so what do I know? tongue

ETA: I'd be thrilled if the holophoner made another appearance, but from the little I know of the 4th movie's plot thus far I'm also having a hard time seeing where it would fit in.
hobbitboy

Sir Rank-a-Lot
Urban Legend
***
« Reply #30 on: 09-27-2008 11:28 »


   Also on a loosely related note isn't there a line in one of the episodes that implies Fry is a decent enough guitarist? This is it out of 'Luck of the Fryrish'

   Narrator: [voice-over; in movie] After a whirlwind fling with Icelandic supermodel Njord, Fry scored a string of top 10 hits with his rock band Leaf Seven, known for their hypnotic rhythms, driving baselines and memorable hooks.

   Fry: That's what I'm known for!

   Or did I just imagine that implication?


It could be that, much like Dave Lister, Fry's opinion of his skill with the guitar is vastly greater than the opinion of those who have actually heard him play. But it's probably just a line thrown in for comic effect.
aknightofni

Starship Captain
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« Reply #31 on: 09-27-2008 17:33 »

ETA: I'd be thrilled if the holophoner made another appearance, but from the little I know of the 4th movie's plot thus far I'm also having a hard time seeing where it would fit in.

Leela might get it for a bit when Fry is gone.
Curious Gorge

Bending Unit
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« Reply #32 on: 09-27-2008 18:17 »

ETA: I'd be thrilled if the holophoner made another appearance, but from the little I know of the 4th movie's plot thus far I'm also having a hard time seeing where it would fit in.


Leela might get it for a bit when Fry is gone.

That's the only way in which I can see it been fitted in...either that or in the closing few scenes to aid the "sweet" ending.
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #33 on: 09-27-2008 23:33 »

Yeah, those sound like they could be plausible. Whatever they do, I would hope it isn't too contrived; I just would desire them to not sully any more past episodes, as they've already done.

km73 beat me to it, but I thought they were aiming for a joke with that line ...

You probably put it better though.

I'm pretty sure it's not a cymbal. tongue

Ooooooohhh...    roll eyes
No, I don't think it is.   You got me there.
robertojamison

Bending Unit
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« Reply #34 on: 12-13-2008 06:47 »

Not a fan of the holophoner......The final episode was enough.
aknightofni

Starship Captain
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« Reply #35 on: 12-13-2008 18:48 »

It would be nice to see the holophoner if only to help draw some connection back to "The Devils Hands...".

They need to do some sort of serious attempt to cover WHY it took so long for Leela to come around, and a good first step would be explaining what happened after the Opera. Perfect opportunity for a holophoner appearance.
sucho1
Poppler
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« Reply #36 on: 01-26-2010 07:25 »

The sound of the holophonor is a mix of synth in the background and a bamboo flute as the main instrument.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO7OA35VQ9A check it out,


sucho
Jezzem

Urban Legend
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« Reply #37 on: 01-26-2010 07:29 »

It would have been sufficient to just post that in one holophoner thread.
km73

Space Pope
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« Reply #38 on: 01-26-2010 11:53 »

Yeah, but this one.

This is the Good holophoner thread.

Ohh, this takes me back...
Archonix

Space Pope
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« Reply #39 on: 01-27-2010 13:12 »
« Last Edit on: 01-27-2010 14:05 »

Duduk with accompaniment. Or this one. Close your eyes and it's nearly a holophoner.
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