PIANO TOUR TRANSCRIPT
“It is my aim to build a sound without damping down its harmonics, thus empowering the player to control the sound as they wish. By increasing the attack and decay transients without masking or muddying the sound, Stuart and Sons has established a new sound aesthetic.”
“Hi I’m Bill Risby and I’m here to demonstrate the possibilities of this Stuart piano that Wayne has been describing to you.
This piano has a dynamic range which is greater than any piano I’ve played before, I’ve never been able to play as softly as I can with this piano or as loudly and I always feel like there’s a lot more in reserve when I’m playing. One of the reasons for this is there’s an extra pedal – this piano has four pedals instead of three. The fourth pedal has the effect of bringing the hammers of the piano closer to the strings so there’s a lot less throw but it doesn’t effect the tone of the piano in the same way a una-corda pedal does or the conventional soft pedal on a grand piano.
Because of the way the pedals are laid out on this piano it’s possible to play more than one at a time, especially with the two soft pedals together which offers a different sound to any other piano. With the hammers combined and being closer to the strings and being moved across to strike only two strings you can get a very soft and more muted tone to the piano. Overall there is just more variation of sound with this instrument because of all the options you have…here’s a demonstration of using the two pedals together … one pedal … no pedal and so on. There are three different levels of tonality to experiment with, I was using the sustain pedal as well in the conventional manner.
Wayne has developed an agraffe system for this piano which is where the string is suspended on the soundboard, which enables the string to be vibrating only on the vertical plane rather than oscillating in a circle like a normal piano, which has lead to the piano having an enormous amount of sustain and clarity where you can play two notes together quite low and there’s very little muddiness, in fact there is no muddiness like you’d normally hear on a normal piano – for example…[demonstration]. Those kind of chords could not be played on a conventional piano without sounding muddy, the notes interacting with each other in a detrimental way. It’s one of the incredible features of this piano is that you can actually play chords in a different register that you wouldn’t normally be able to do, and therefore you can write music for piano that incorporate those sounds.
This piano also features an extended keyboard where it goes to a low F which is four notes lower than a conventional piano - and it goes to a high f so the piano goes from an F to an f. This allows the piano to have a larger soundboard and also for middle c to still be in the centre of the piano.
This may sound silly being a musician but one of the most beautiful things about this piano is how it’s made and what it looks like and how exclusive it is…I’m a huge lover of art in every form and this piano just to look at is incredible. It’s made of Australian woods and each piano takes a year from beginning to end to be made and that’s an incredible thing.”