Saturday, January 05, 2008

Roll-up Pianos

The roll-up piano - a product category, the existence of which I had hitherto been completely unaware.

Contemplating a typical evening-to-come in a London Docklands hotel room, I imagine that having already spent an hour on my OU material (SMT359 Electromagnetism) my thoughts might turn to the possibilities of playing a little piano? But how? Moving to my mini-suitcase, I carefully pull out a rolled-up piano ...

Argos sell a possible candidate (here) for £19.99 but it's clearly a novelty gadget, a dance mat for the fingers. The American Hecsan product, although it looks similar, seems to be altogether more grown-up. Daniel Rutter, an Australian journalist and product reviewer, contributed a detailed review here.

The Hecsan website (here) has more background, including videos. The device apparently will operate on 4 A4 batteries so would work over here (the 110v adapter obviously wouldn't). It's not clear whether there's a UK version at this time. The price seems to be around £100.

A site which seems a bit more organised is here. I'm still looking through their website.

And here's a guy playing Bach's Toccata and Fugue on a roll-up piano ... not bad!

Bottom line: despite my fascination with new tech, I think I'll hold off for a while. It may turn out that I have no time in the evenings at all, as part of my global team will be working in North America.