We're thrilled to report that our finished Standing Grand frame is finally on its way to Latvia! There it will be transformed by master piano builder David Klavins, adding soundboard, strings, keyboard and action.
The last year (plus pandemic delays) has seen us progressing the manufacturing process of our radically innovative and unique piano frame. This has involved detailed back and forth between the team members, ensuring the properties of every part were designed and engineered correctly, both for materials performance (e.g. lightness and strength) and for the highest musical quality of the piano. The last holes were drilled only days ago before our precious cargo was collected for its journey from Swindon to Latvia!
So we now have something that is starting to look like a piano! The two biggest parts that had to be manufactured were the composite top arch and the aluminium bottom frame. These two parts tether the strings at top and bottom and therefore form the backbone of the piano's structure. They were both built at Retrac Composites, where the Future Piano team visited many times over the last months.
Sarah visiting Retrac Composites, our main manufacturer, during the assembly phase.
L to R: Sarah, Retrac project manager Richard Bennett and Tim Evans (engineer and co-Director of Future Piano along with Chris Vaissiere) next to the finished frame (blacked out - see patent info below) before it was loaded into its bespoke crate and sent on a long road trip to Latvia, where it has now safely arrived.
The piano will arrive at David Klavins' workshop this week, where he will be able to see in real life for the first time the frame that we've been discussing with him since 2017. The steps of his process will include making a bespoke soundboard, building a totally new action, fitting a specially designed keyboard and finally stringing the piano. We are hoping that these steps can be completed by early summer. There will be lots of further discoveries and team discussions along the way, as we use the time to perfect the piano.
Getting closer to a patent and thinking ahead
Future Piano has just been awarded funding to commence the patenting procedure. We need to have the patent secured by the time the piano can be publicly launched, so the extra funding has come just in time. We are very sorry not to be able to share photos of the piano: until the patent is secured, nothing must enter the public domain. But we promise that it looks great and is going in exactly the right direction!
Meanwhile, if you wish to join our prospective purchaser's list, please reply directly to Sarah, as this helps us with looking ahead.
Looking forward to launch!
For those of you who bought tickets in the Crowdfunder, we can't wait to invite you to the first concert! For everyone else, we really look forward to continuing the journey of our new Standing Grand and sharing this piano with you all.
Thank you for your continued support, the Future Piano team
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