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Our Great BEAM Piano Project transformed an acoustic instrument into a wondrously detuned, prepared light-up piano. We premiered it as an interactive installation at BEAM 2022, soon followed by a subsequent showing at the first concert of our New Music Festival.

The piano works by fixing two copper rings to the bottom of each key and the pads that they rest on when pressed. When someone presses one down, the contacts meet and send an electrical signal to one of several video game controllers, reprogrammed to trigger a small burst of light on the front and a random change to the lights in the back. Planning, construction, and programming were spearheaded by JP Lempke and Chad Scarborough, with additional help from Christian Li.

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