Pianist invents ‘the piano that paints’ and it’s an absolute masterpiece

9 August 2019, 17:07 | Updated: 9 August 2019, 17:10

By Siena Linton

This musician is blurring all sorts of lines between music and visual art with an instrument that paints onto a spinning canvas. We’re loving it.

A new invention combines piano, easel and brush, with spectacular effect. Pianist Francesco Mancarella teamed up with his engineer friend Antonio Greco to make a custom-built piano that converts music into art on canvas before your very eyes.

The muso-engineering duo created three prototypes before perfecting the final version of their invention. Strings were stripped from an old piano and microchips installed to synthesize the sound. Francesco and Antonio then installed a motor where the strings had been, and mounted a canvas to spin around behind the piano.

"ONE" Francesco Maria Mancarella - Il Pianoforte che dipinge

Foam pads are attached to the piano’s felt hammers and coated in paint. Every time a piano key is pressed a splash of colour is released onto the canvas, and the paintings change depending on the power and speed with which the key is pressed.

Francesco calls his project ‘NOW I SEE’ and now tours across Europe and the world, performing in festivals, concert halls and theatrical shows entertaining with this dizzying blend of the performing arts.