designboom attends a “live” concert in Hamburg capturing innovative steinway & sons technology

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Steinway & Sons unveils spiriocast

Since 1853, Steinway & Sons dedicated to doing the best pianos in the world. For more than 165 years, Steinway grand pianos have been the precious companion of thousands of families and different generations around the world. The piano-making company celebrates uncompromising artistry and craftsmanship brilliantly combined with digital innovations. This year, the company has marked the next step in the evolution of the piano with its SPIRIOCAST, an innovative new software that allows master musicians around the world to capture a live performance and play your piano remotely.

To celebrate its launch, one of the greatest pianists of all time, Lang Lang, was invited to the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg to demonstrate the unique capabilities of this amazing technology in an intimate private concert. designboom visited the iconic music hall and enjoyed an extraordinary remote performance, perfectly synchronized with video and audio. The show kicked off with the superstar performing a series of tracks from his new album, dubbed “The Disney Book”, at Steinway & Sons Spirio Studio on the outskirts of town. The performance was broadcast directly from the Steinway piano on the stage of the Elbphilharmonie, while the guests enjoyed the concert in real time. After his virtual set, Lang Lang made his presence felt in the music venue with a stunning recital proving that the show offered an identical acoustic experience. For a grand finale, his wife, Gina Alice, joined in for a duet of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance, captivating the crowd.

To learn how intricate craftsmanship meets innovative technology, designboom also visited their factory in Hamburg, where 250 pianos are manufactured each year. (read more about the construction of the piano in our previous article here.)

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reproduce the emotions of the musicians

When Steinway & Sons (see more here) launched their SPIRIO | r in 2019 – the world’s best hi-res piano – they revealed a powerful new medium for expression, changing the future of the piano industry. Throughout these two years, its technology has continued to evolve in an attempt to offer music enthusiasts a unique experience in tune with today’s digitalized and connected world.

SPIRIOCAST is a new streaming technology that allows the streaming of high-resolution musical data from one Steinway & Sons SPIRIO piano to another in real time via a connected iPad. Completely hidden from view, the innovative sensor system – which is integrated into the instrument during the construction process – captures the movements of the piano’s hammers and pedaling. SPIRIOCAST transmits high-resolution data, including audio and video, capturing every nuance of the piece, while transferring the emotions of the musicians to their audience, as if they were present. The liveliness of play is delivered with unrivaled reliability by the person playing, reaching in perfect harmony with sound, tone and touch, from the vitality of each note to the complexity of the pedal.

Imagine pressing a single key on a piano and at the same time, in perfect synchronization, the same key moves across hundreds of pianos around the world. Watching the piano keys “dance” without a performer, you could say it’s rather an otherworldly experience that simultaneously ushers in a new era for the piano industry.

designboom is attending a concert

SPIRIOCAST allows a performer to reproduce the performance in real time | image ©Steinway & Sons

“We have successfully harnessed technology to recreate and convey a musical acoustic experience that would have been unthinkable before Spirio. It comes from the hard work and drive we have at Steinway to ensure that we are constantly innovating. We feel very fortunate to work with many of the world’s finest pianists, it’s an honor to capture every nuance of their playing, to develop software and hardware that faithfully reproduces those performances on the world’s finest acoustic pianos,” commented Eric Feidner, director of technology and innovation at Steinway & Sons.

designboom is attending a concert
each month, the content library available on the SPIRIO application grows, automatically updated from the Cloud | image ©Steinway & Sons

designboom is attending a concert
instruments are made by a team of dedicated craftsmen with decades of experience | image ©designboom

designboom is attending a concert
the SPIRIO | r is implanted in the instrument during the construction process | image ©designboom

designboom is attending a concert
each Steinway piano is unique and has its own musical character | image ©designboom

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