Via Jonathan Bellman, here is a video on a new design of piano that allows the performer to adjust the tuning of each string with the use of sliders. Jonathan talks about the ability to change temperaments for his beloved Chopin. I can see possibilities in performing works by Gann, Young, and others who experiment with new scales. Or microtonal compositions. Or perhaps adding vibrato to a piano sound. I have some problems with the timbre of the piano itself, it sounds very tinny to me. It could be from the quality of the video, or the addition of the horizontal harp to the piano (see 2:20 of the video) which could vibrate sympathetically to strengthen the upper partials of the sounds. I'd like to hear the sliding system on a standard-sounding piano, one that doesn't attempt to sound like an Indian instrument. Here are some views about the hammer design that may have created this different sound.
The Fluid Piano will get its debut on Saturday at the University of Surrey, featuring composer/pianists Matthew Bourne, Nikki Yeoh and Pam Chowhan, and works by the inventor, Geoff Smith.