Patricia Alessandrini's Piano Machine
Over the course of 2 years, in close collaboration with contemporary music composer Patricia Alessandrini I designed and developed a highly portable continuous excitation device that can be easily installed in any grand piano.
There are 96 suspended plastic fingers driven by vibration motors, which are controlled by OSC via Raspberry and 6x Adafruit PWM PCA9685 drivers.
Particular attention was paid to the design of the motor-string coupling to minimise audible central motor frequency. Suspended finger design together with the piano string forms a variation of double pendulum chaotic oscillating system which emphasises the string's pitch and timbre while masking motor's buzz.
The design went through a number of very distinct prototypes trying out various combination of actuator design, resulting in a separate instrument developed - the Harp Glove.
The first version of the instrument was premiered at the Huddersfield contemporary music festival on 23 November 2017, while the latest - at the Barbican Centre on 2 November 2019.