by: Online Piano Atlas -
The MAENE-VIÑOLY Concert Grand was created by renowned piano craftsman Chris Maene and internationally acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly. The instrument's ergonomically curved keyboard corresponds to the natural rotation of a pianist's arms from the shoulders and enables effortless playing in all registers. The keyboard's radial arrangement is extended to strings that are dispersed over a much larger soundboard, which enhances the instrument's nuance, clarity, and power.
Due to the instrument's length, pianos highest and lowest registers cannot be played with the same neutral posture as the middle registers, which are played directly in front of the pianist. Playing near the ends of the keyboard necessitates a slight physical contortion that engages additional muscles, necessitates additional effort, and can result in repetitive stress injuries.
Introducing a gently curved keyboard that corresponds to the arc formed by a player's arms as they rotate from the shoulders is the most logical way to alleviate this condition. Design The rest of the instrument's design and construction are a logical extension of its keyboard, leading to radially arranged strings and a larger soundboard as a result. The rim, frame, and structure of the piano that hold the strings and support the soundboard respond to the keyboard, as does its radial "action" – the mechanism that transmits key movement to the hammers that strike the strings. These elements contribute to the piano's distinctive tone and playability.
Research & Development The Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand could not exist without a combination of traditional piano building expertise, technological expertise, in-house research, and collaboration with external research partners, technicians, and artists who validated the keyboard's ergonomic and acoustic merits.
Using computer-aided design techniques to conduct 3D simulations, cross-sections could be created in advance prior to the prototyping phase. The aesthetic design was coordinated with the technical design, which always prioritized acoustic performance, through an iterative process with Rafael Viñoly.
In addition, there was close cooperation with a number of renowned external partners and institutions. Beyond the ergonomic advice provided by Prof. Pozzo and Dr. Gartner, the University of Leuven, Belgium contributed research into the soundboard's configuration, and the specialized engineering firm Technocon resolved the structure for the cast iron frame, which had to be extremely strong to absorb the enormous string tension, yet elegant and light to transmit the energy of the strings to the soundboard without loss or distortion. Source: chrismaene.be