Tag Archives: piano recital

piano recital brings magic of piano improvisation to falmouth

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I love pianos. They offer magic…

I recently experienced this magic when I performed my first solo piano concert at the West Falmouth Library in , Massachusetts on March 7th 2009.

The concert was billed as “Living Room Improvisations” and featured a number of my original “on the spot” free improvisation as well as improvisation on folk pieces, including a Cuban Tango.

The living-room improvisational style is what I do at home…

I just sit at my piano and play spontaneously.

An analogy is “flow of consciousness” poetry or prose. The secret of success is to play on a really nicely tuned piano with tone you can just dive into.

I’ve dreamed of playing a concert at the West Falmouth Library… it’s a beautiful room with hardwood floors, books all around, and beautiful oil paintings on the walls… It’s a very special ambiance.

The concert was at 4pm and it was still light outside so I drew the shades and used a floor lamp by the piano so I felt like I was at home.

Being a piano tuner I have the great vocational satisfaction of playing every piano I work on to check the tuning and make sure that the action and pedals are working properly.

As a piano player the most satisfying pianos to play on are ones that have been freshly tuned. It’s a wonderful part of the job.

the piano book: the transformation stanwood gives is likely to be miraculous

the piano book

Excerpt from “The Piano Book”
By Larry Fine

Stanwood Touch Designs for the grand piano

Pianists agree that piano actions vary widely in their characteristic feel and in the way they respond.

Of course, regulation of the action and tone of the instrument have a significant effect on what the pianist experiences. But there exist more basic underlying elements in piano action design that no amount of regulation or voicing can change.

This fact is most pronounced in pianos with unusually heavy action that “play like a truck”.

Research and study of piano actions carried out by David C. Stanwood has shed a whole new light on the subject of piano action design and led to the development of Stanwood precision touch design for the grand piano action. (Stanwood Co., RFD 340, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; (508) 693-1583).

Stanwood’s system has been known to improve even some of the finest pianos, so if your piano plays like a truck, the transformation is likely to be miraculous.

The Stanwood Touch Design System is installed in the piano by modifying the pianos action parts. It is available in a variety of stock or custom touch designs.

Each touch design is a special recipe which specifies for each note the exact proportions of hammer weight, hammer leverage, key balancing weight, and frictional resistance.

Once calibrated to these rigid specifications, the piano takes on the expected characteristic feel, with an extremely consistent response from note to note.

Touch designs are chosen based on tonal projection needs and desired characteristic feel.

The higher hammer weight designs have a firmer feel with
more powerful tonal projection, as required in concert halls.

The lighter hammer weight designs have a lighter feel and give a lower tonal projection appropriate for smaller rooms and studios.

Stanwood says the advantages of his precision touch design include reducing, or in some cases stopping, repetitive stress injury due to inordinate physical stress; increasing the value of the piano; facilitating the purchase and sale of pianos; and generally improving pianistic ability and expression.

Stanwood is currently licensing, and training technicians around the country to install his touch designs, which have received strong endorsements from concert artists and technicians.

– Larry Fine

piano innovation; precision touch design completed for Paul Haug – Director Musikschule & Conservatorium Schaffhausen

paul haug8200 Schaffhausen
December 12, 1997

Mr. David C. Stanwood has fitted both grand pianos in the concert hall of our school (Grotrian-Steinweg 277 c1996, Steinway B c1978) with his Stanwood Precision Touch Design system.

The result is excellent and it was quite evident that the touch was greatly improved across the whole keyboard, as well as the repetition which is now possible at a much faster rate.

At the same time, the pianist has more control which allows for a much  finer gradiation of dynamics. That the tone also gains by these measures in beauty and in finish was confirmed by all pianists who had previously  played the instruments.
On December 10, 1997 Mr. Stanwood held an extremely instructive lecture, for concert pianists who had come from all over Switzerland, about his work on the mechanics of the grand piano and about his research in the fields of wool and felt and he illustrated his talk with striking graphics which he made from the exact measurements taken of our instruments.
The pianists and the representatives of the Swiss Conservatory and Music  College tested the instruments after the talk and were all, without exception, very impressed.

We are very grateful to Mr. Stanwood and can only hope that Stanwood Precision Touch  Design will become an international standard as soon as possible.

Yours Sincerely,
Paul Haug – Director
Musikschule & Conservatorium Schaffhausen
Rosengasse 16
8200 Schaffhausen CH
Telephone: 052 625 3403
Fax: 052 625 3430
p.k.haug@bluewin.ch