A 10 Foot+ Custom Grand Piano with 102 Keys, Bridge Agraffes, Wessel Nickel & Gross Actions, and a Carbon Fiber Soundboard Optimized With Evolutionary Computing
Online PR News – 18-June-2014 – The Evolutionary Piano Project launched a 40-day campaign on Indiegogo to raise $375, 000 to build the worlds most technologically advanced piano. The centerpiece of the project will be a carbon fiber composite soundboard optimized with evolutionary computing techniques that let the soundboard evolve in a computer like a living organism. The absence of reinforcing ribs is predicted to vastly improve the treble, and the composite material should be more stable and reliable than wood. The extra keys will meet the demand for an expanded compass from piano composers, and jazz and classical concert pianists. The 10-foot plus piano will also feature bridge agraffes, Wessel, Nickel & Gross actions, a monolithic inner structure, and a welded steel string and rim plate. The piano will be big, powerful, and possibly look radically different than any piano ever built.
The Evolutionary Piano Project is leveraging recent developments in high performance computing (HPC), evolutionary computing techniques, and the collaborative power of the internet to build an ad hoc team of experts to create a completely new carbon fiber composite soundboard technology for pianos. The long term goal is to build limited quantities of high end pianos targeting the 1% and create high paying jobs here in the US manufacturing carbon fiber soundboards for other piano manufacturers. I think pay inequality can be partially addressed by updating technological dinosaurs like the piano, and creating a genuinely modern product that motivates one-percenters to spend their money, especially when the product is built here in the US by a well-paid workforce. Why would the CEO of a high technology business like Apple or Intel buy a grand piano built with 130 year-old technology when a computer-optimized piano built with modern materials makes a much better statement about who they are? asked Jeff Petsinger.
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The piano will debut in 2015 at a series of receptions for major contributors around the US, adding a performance flavor to the design element. The design team is counting on a passionate response from piano performers, musicians, tuners, technicians, and acedemia to go to the Evolutionary Piano Project website and contribute to the project. Indiegogo reaches an international audience, which will make the Evolutionary Piano a “world” piano.
A limited number of contributors will receive a professional audio/visual recording session by film maker Harry Bramley Davenport of them playing the Evolutionary Piano. Minor contributors will receive project updates, audio files comparing the Evolutionary Piano to a Steinway Model D, a parachord bracelet, and a DVD documenting the project. The piano will be offered for sale after completing the tour. Proceeds from the sale of the piano will be used to build additional pianos.
The design team includes the project manager and technical lead, Jeff Petsinger, a mechanical engineer, Delwin Fandrich of Fandrich Piano Company, legendary piano designer, and David Rubenstein of Rubenstein Pianos, custom piano builder. Jeff Petsinger will coordinate the simulation tasks and manage the project. Delwin Fandrich was the head of Research and Development at Baldwin Piano, and is now an industry consultant. Mr. Fandrich will design the scale and consult throughout the project. David Rubenstein is the owner of Rubenstien Pianos. Mr. Rubenstein will help design and build the Evolutionary Piano, and is best known for designing and hand-building his 12-foot, 97-key, R-371 piano. The team hopes the process used to design the Evolutionary Piano soundboard will eventually be adopted by traditional piano manufacturers.
“Evolutionary computer optimization will let us all finally see and hear what a piano soundboard should look and sound like.”