The trouble with being a pianist is that you can’t pack your instrument up into a handy little bag and then be on your merry way. You’re limited to the practise room or concert hall, unfortunately – unlike those lucky wind instrumentalists who can take their oboes, flutes and clarinets with them wherever they go.
But change is in the air, it would seem, thanks to the director of Future Piano Sarah Nicolls, who has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help her fund the development of the Standing Grand, an upright grand piano that will weigh just 82kg… instead of the typical 450kg that a standard grand piano weighs.
The idea came about after Ms Nicolls found herself being increasingly asked to play inside the piano by plucking strings, strumming or knocking – which produced extraordinary sounds but which were uncomfortable to perform, with the audience unable to see what was going on.
So she took it upon herself to come up with a piano design where the strings went vertically from the keys… and the rest, as they say, is history!
The Kickstarter project says: “We have now undertaken as much design work as we can and are now ready to build our first prototype from scratch. This will be a hybrid piano using traditional and advanced materials (composites) for the optimum sound, cost and weight ratio.”
If you want to see Ms Nicolls put a piano through its paces, you can do so on September 7th at the Peter Pears Recital Room in Snape Maltings, as part of the Festival of New.
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