Remote Piano System

        The goal of inter/Play is to develop a system for live remote performance of acoustic pianos over the Internet2. More specifically, inter/Playwill be used to connect WMU's Groven Piano to the internet, allowing pianists located around the world to perform on the instrument and be heard live on-stage on Western's campus. In collaboration with the Yamaha Corporation, the Groven Piano is a unique performing instrument combining four specially-tuned Yamaha Disklavier pianos within a single network. Disklaviers are regular, acoustic pianos enhanced by an internal mechanism which allows remote control of the keys and hammers via MIDI, a computer language for digital musical instruments. Normally, the MIDI data is sent directly to the Disklaviers from either a synthesizer or aMIDI file stored on a computer disk. With inter/Play, the MIDI data will be sent in real-time over the Internet2 from a remote keyboard to be received on this end by the Groven Piano.

        As the first long-distance performance on an acoustic instrument, inter/Play would be significant for its technological achievement alone. More important, however, are the potential artistic and educational benefits of the Inter/Play remote piano system. First of all, WMU is the home of the Groven Piano, a unique and historic instrument in its own right. Already being visited by professional musicians visiting Kalamazoo, inter/Play will make the Groven Piano available to the world-wide community of performers, composers, researchers, and educators.
        For Western's students and the musical community in Kalamazoo, inter/Play offers the potential to hear performances by national and international pianists who otherwise might not be able to come in person: not in a live broadcast, but on live pianos in a concert hall. Other applications include the possibility of collaborative performances (e.g. duets) between local musicians and pianists in other geographic locations or remote teaching in master classes. Composers could create interactive works incorporating the internet and researchers could utilize the Groven Piano as a kind of tuning laboratory similar to the way remote-controlled telescopes or microscopes are used by scientists.

Additional information about:
Groven Piano Project

Dr. David Løberg Code
Associate Professor of Music
School of Music
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Phone: 616.373.6877