The most advanced instrument of its kind
by Nathan Rippon, Piano Product Manager I Yamaha Music Australia
Photo © Nicolas Joubard
In May this year, VMTA members were treated to a VIP event with New York based pianist and composer Dan Tepfer at the Yamaha Premium Piano Centre in South Melbourne. Using Yamaha's Disklavier piano as his only instrument, Tepfer performed all 11 pieces from his new album Natural Machines - improvisations interacting with computer programs he's invented on Yamaha’s Disklavier.
The claim that Yamaha’s Disklavier piano is the ‘most advanced instrument of its kind’ is certainly no exaggeration. Tepfer has long embraced this instrument as a performance tool - using its ability to send and receive data in real time, he combines algorithmic computer programming and MIDI-driven visualisations to produce unique performances in which the piano becomes an equal partner to the composer.
For those not familiar with Yamaha’s Disklavier, this instrument is considered to be the modern-day version of the ‘player piano’. Disklavier pianos are true acoustic pianos that incorporate fibre-optic sensing systems and state-of-the-art computer technology. These instruments, that previously may have been associated with hotel lobbies or airport lounges, can be found in hundreds of schools and universities (Monash University, Griffith University, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, to name a few), used as a distance-learning ('RemoteLesson' technology – more info below) and pedagogical tool.
“Tepfer played with such wonderful sensitivity, he took everything in his arms for a warm, respectful embrace. This was an astonishing performance.”
Limelight Magazine, May 2019
H2 RemoteLesson Technology
Yamaha’s Disklavier piano enables teacher and student opportunities that are not possible with a conventional acoustic piano. With a wide range of applications including articulate recording and playback with tempo control, audio and midi accompaniment, video recording and synchronisation, silent practice, internet connectivity and so on.
“RemoteLesson” (pioneered in 2007) provides for networking of up to four Disklavier pianos, enabling a teacher to conduct lessons with students over the Internet. Once connected, the performance information is transmitted from one instrument to the other making the keys and pedals move up and down on the distant piano to recreate the performance, even though teacher and student may be thousands of miles apart. With RemoteLesson, participants can video connect (e.g. Skype, Zoom) while playing their respective instruments. The software on the Disklavier RemoteLesson allows the microphone to be gated when performing so as not to allow echo spillage from their piano and vice versa.
H2 Dan Tepfer in Australia
Tepfer was in Australia performing for the Canberra International Music Festival (presenting his Goldberg Variations / Variations program), with shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong and a solo concert at Jazzlab, Melbourne. His tour was also complimented with workshops and masterclasses at various universities and conservatories.
Click here to find out about more events at the Yamaha Premium Piano Centre.
To learn more about Yamaha’s Disklavier, please click here.
Piano Product Manager I Yamaha Music Australia