So Far, Yet So Close: Yamaha Disklavier RemoteLive Defies Musical Time And Space

1/19/2012 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Piano Broadcasting Technology Gains Momentum in 2011; With RemoteLive, 'The Impossible Is Now Possible'

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Thanks to Yamaha Disklavier RemoteLive technology, musical artists, educators and audiences are connecting in ways previously unimaginable.

RemoteLive enables a pianist to perform live in one location and have his or her exact keystrokes and pedal movements transmitted live and in real time to other networked Disklavier pianos anywhere in the world. Combining perfectly synchronized video and audio plus MIDI broadcast from a single location to multiple locations, Disklavier RemoteLive is redefining how piano performance and education is shared and experienced.

"This remarkable technology has grown exponentially in the past year," says Yamaha Disklavier Marketing Manager Jim Levesque. "The resounding success and popularity of these performances proves that this technology fulfils a true need in the piano marketplace. Performances from around the block or around the world can be interactively experienced in ways previously deemed impossible."

The first of roughly a dozen events in 2011 was held last January, and featured the renowned Roberta Flack and Dan Tepfer, who broadcast from Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. in midtown Manhattan, to the Yamaha exhibit at Winter NAMM 2011 in Anaheim, California. Last April, pianist extraordinaire Mike Garson performed at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) while a Disklavier at the Intel® Visionary Conference carried the unique live piano and synchronized video display, drawing raves from the attendees. A leader in the advancement of teaching and learning, Intel's Annual Visionary Conference in Washington, showcases technologies that enhance education.

Later that same month another RemoteLive demonstration linked performers at The Wild Beast music pavilion at CalArts with the Yamaha Piano Salon in midtown for an innovative transcontinental piano concert called Jazz Crossings.

RemoteLive also reproduced performances from major music festivals, including the Newport Music Festival and the Yamaha National Junior Original Concert in July. Last August, Bruce Stark demonstrated the transcontinental reach of this incredible technology by performing live in Japan and broadcasting to Disklavier pianos across the United States.

Pianists Judy Roberts, Robert Glasper and Benny Green, along with saxophonist Greg Fishman, played a RemoteLive demonstration at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September. The performances were then rebroadcast in October to select locations throughout the country.

When Yamaha launched its Artists In Education program in December at Yamaha's midtown piano salon, the event featured a simulcast of a Yamaha Artist Services concert from New York City featuring a special program of classical and jazz selections. The concert featured five piano professors from across the country, including Nicolas Roth, Associate Professor of Piano at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. An audience of 100 people gathered at West Music in Des Moines to view Roth's performance. Yamaha capped off this momentous year with a special series of "Mike Garson & Friends" Christmas broadcasts, was aired the week before Christmas, once on Christmas Eve and once on Christmas Day.

Beyond leaving audiences delighted and stunned, the technology has also drawn media attention from ABC News, Time Magazine, and New York 1 News. Leading piano dealers are likewise raving about the implications of this extraordinary technology to the piano retail marketplace.

"With RemoteLive, Disklavier owners can enjoy live piano music at home in a whole new way - it lends a whole new meaning to a dinner party or music gathering, since endless possibilities are created," said Michael Chan Williamson, Store Manager of Keyboard Concepts, which participated in the Newport Music Festival broadcasts. "Dealers need to simply invite prospects to their store for a demonstration. When the customers experience it, their imagination will run wild."

According to Christopher Guerin, Director of Program Development for Sweetwater Music, "Our RemoteLive press conference featuring Mike Garson performing in Los Angeles on a Disklavier here in Fort Wayne was a memorable and effective way to launch our new Yamaha piano showroom. It was jaw dropping for the people who attended."

"Our demonstration of RemoteLive was an eye-popping experience for the guests that attended our recent showroom launch event," said Sara Faust of Faust Harrison Pianos, who was also impressed by the technology's massive implications for home entertainment and music education. "It provided a totally genuine, live musical experience, and yet, by means of this extraordinary technology, it was also a wonder."

When Yamaha added the legendary pianist Byron Janis to its Artist Roster in November 2011, the event was marked with a RemoteLive performance carried live to a number of cities, including Skokie, Illinois. "Even the finest audio system in the world cannot duplicate the nuances of what a real 'live' piano can produce," commented Jeff Tasch, who received the performance at Grand Piano Haus. "RemoteLive offers this possibility and much more. RemoteLive will forever change the way we will listen to and enjoy piano music. It is truly a remarkable technological breakthrough."

For his part, Janis, a champion of RemoteLive, stated, "I think the impossible has become possible. It's a tremendous step towards many new things. It's only the beginning."

Yamaha will hold RemoteLive demonstrations throughout Winter NAMM 2012. Please visit the booth for details. For more information about RemoteLive, visit Yamaha Corporation of America at Winter NAMM 2012 in the Anaheim Marriott Marquis Ballroom, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com.

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