Bösendorfer Disklavier No. 42 Arrives at IRCAM

After too many months and a long story that will one day make it into a comic strip, the ERC COSMOS project piano, a Bösendorfer Disklavier 280VC ENSPIRE Pro, has arrived from Vienna in Paris this morning. The 9-foot, 500 kg grand instrument made a dent in the floor outside Studio 5, quickly patched up by Pompidou Centre repairmen. Technical installation will soon follow.

As part of the ERC project, we will be using the reproducing piano to capture expert pianists’ keystroke actions in performance, for analyzing high-level performance decisions and gestures, and for manipulating expressive gestures. It will also be used for playback of recorded performances by legendary pianists, and for precise reproduction of music based on electrocardiographic traces of arrhythmias.

Remarkably, the piano’s serial number is 42, the answer to life, the universe, and everything, which seems apt for a project named COSMOS. Can’t wait to uncover the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything with No. 42. See the full photo coverage at bit.ly/pno42.

Many thanks to the indomitable Vivienne Bartulocci, Head of Education at Yamaha Music London, with whom discussions began in 31 May 2018 for acquiring the piano. We never expected the many twists and turns of this journey together.

Special thanks go to Jean-Louis Giavitto, STMS Deputy Director of the STMS Laboratory, and Anne-Marie Vaudeville, CNRS-STMS Research Admin Head, who forged through a formidable amount of paperwork. Last but not least, Aline Morel, IRCAM Technical Production Manager, literally moved the construction site to get the piano to the cargo lift.