Just when you think you’ve seen every possible way to play the piano, [Alessandro Perini] came up with a new one. In this piece, written for the percussionist [Irene Bianco], hand-held motors become a tangible interface between composer, electronic music equipment, and the performer.
The performance involved ten small disc motors, held above the strings by a wooden frame. The motors are controlled by a Arduino Nano, which turns the motors on or off based on MIDI commands from a computer. However, the performance is not entirely automated. [Irene] wears a pair of contact microphones on her fingers, which she moves around inside the piano to capture the sounds of the strings vibrating in harmony with the motors themselves.
[Alessandro] has been kind enough to share a tutorial on how to recreate the hardware and software behind the performance for those keen to create similar work of their own. As with any musical endeavour, MIDI can always make it better. Video after the break.