Luminescent Grand is the first ever LED baby grand piano, which was created to give a mesmerizing light show in which the musical qualities of tone, pitch, and sustain are exquisitely interpreted in terms of hue, brightness, and duration, when played. Created using Arduino and Cool Neon Total Control Lighting, this all acrylic grand piano responds to midi commands when played to give a mesmerizing light show to accompany any pianist who plays it!
This is what the creator of Luminescent Grand, William Jerome (Coda), had to say about the process:
I first had the idea for this piano when I was a child, seeing a piano that could change color vividly in my head. As I got older I learned of composers such as Alexander Scriabin who allegedly had a condition called “synesthesia” and became interested in researching alternative frequency tunings and light color and sound correlations.
It wasn’t until 2012, when I was on tour with my band Interstellar Transmissions, that I met my friend Zach Vorhies and was introduced to the amazing Arduino technology that existed.
In May 2013 I decided to embark on the journey of making this piano a reality. I had done extensive research on frequency spectrum correlations and people in history (such as Luis Bertrand Castle) who had already conducted this experiment and made instruments of their own! I created my own color schemes, designed my piano, and began researching everything I could about light technology and acrylic fabrication.My first step was to fly out to San Francisco to meet up with Zach, buy my lights and begin programming a basic note to light concept. I spent two weeks with Zach about 8 hours a day, sometimes more, sometimes much much more. After a few sleepless nights, several fried lights and chips, lots of pizza we accomplished our goal of completing the first program for the piano.
Second step was to acquire all of the acrylic and find a fabricator to help me create the piano. After calling about every acrylic company in the country I narrowed it down to Texas based on price. It was during a conversation with a receptionist that I was directed to a fabricator named Bill Cornelius ( http://centexplastics.com/ ). He was not too far from Austin so I chose him to work with for the project. He helped me get all the acrylic I needed and enhance my design so that it could withstand everything a piano endures. We worked together everyday for about three weeks and not only accomplished creating this piano, but also became friends! Seriously, this is one of the sweetest humans I have ever met, and I can’t believe how lucky I was to meet him.So now that I had the lights programmed and my acrylic piano created, it was time to put them together. My deadline (Burning Man) was approaching quickly so I was really hustling at this point, calling on friends and family to help me whenever they could.
August 20th comes around and I am putting the final pixel into the piano! I gave it a quick little test to make sure all worked and then immediately packed it into our trailer to head to the burn.
We arrived to the playa on Tuesday. I debuted the piano Wednesday night! From then it has been a magical journey of impromptu performances and festivals.
Benny, Karen and the Elves
Video: Raymond Daigle