The Ballet mécanique is Antheil's most famous—or notorious—piece. At its various premieres, it caused tremendous controversy, not to mention fistfights. Although it was very successful in Paris, it was a huge flop when it came to New York, and in fact Antheil's career as a "serious" composer never recovered from that debacle.
The re-created orchestra consisted of 16 MIDI-compatible grand player pianos, provided by the Gulbransen division of QRS Music, and three xylophones, four bass drums, a tam-tam, a siren, and three "airplane propellors," all controlled by MIDI, using robotics built by the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, under the direction of Eric Singer.
crap CBS news doco here