May 30, 2011 - 14:55 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Students at a Bushey school, Watford, UK, were treated to a world premier of a new type of piano.
The fluid piano, the only one of its kind in the world, was showcased at the Purcell School of Music, with a performance from jazz musician Kit Downes. The piano took ten years to create and allows musicians to change the sound of each of its keys. Kit Downes, a former pupil of Purcell and a Mercury music prize nominated jazz Musician, performed on the unusual instrument for students.
He said: "It's totally revolutionary, the idea of having a piano that can be tuned differently has massive implications on all sorts of different types of music."
The piano works with different slides, allowing fluid tuning on each note. The instrument also needs to be kept at a constant temperature to stop it from warping.
Alison Cox, head of composition at the school, said: "It's absolutely amazing and has the potential to tune to any scale from around the world. It is possible to create a whole new scale and a whole new sound."
Also at the performance was the piano's inventor, Geoffrey Smith, whose passion for music drove the design of the instrument.
Mr Smith explained the inspiration came ten years ago, when he wanted to create an instrument allowing musicians to experiment.
After the performance, one student was able to recreate an Armenian scale, something that is not possible on a conventional western piano. Mr Smith said: "This is a really powerful moment seeing an Armenian musician working out a completely different scale - this is what it's all about."