Tod Machover, an American composer and inventor, works in cutting-edge music technology at MIT's Media Lab and it was recently profiled by The Economist. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles was the inspiration behind his work on hyperinstruments, which are 'smart' instruments that interpret and enhance the music played on them. The album was too complex to play live and hyperinstruments, like the one he built for Prince, enable musicians to more fully realize their musical vision live.
In his 20 years in the Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group, Machover has also worked on developing technology that enables non-musicians and disabled persons to compose and perform music through physical gestures and vocalizations. As you may have guessed, he's been a speaker at TED on his inventive work. His latest project is a robotic opera that visualizes the sound and movement of performers on robotic walls that move and display animated visuals.
Perhaps Machover's most widely-used technology is the one that was instrumental to the development of Guitar Hero. BP