Not only do you need to hear about the Exxeo, you also need to hear it. The hybrid piano is an interesting mix of design and modern materials. For the Exxeo, Los Angeles-based designer Iman Maghsoudi used a material most often used in the automotive industry: carbon fibre. The piano’s case is made of carbon fibre interlaced with aerospace-grade aluminium as well as premium grade leather.
Use of these materials shouldn’t be too surprising when you find out that the people on Maghsoudi’s team came from the automotive and aeronautical industries, including companies like Mercedes-Benz, Bertone, Maybach, and Cadillac.
The award-wining design of the piano is “a futuristic sculpture that brings music to life.” Exxeo starts out like any other piano with a horizontal keyboard. As the piano stretches back, however, it twists into a vertical position. This isn’t a piano that will be tucked away in someone’s living room; rather, it should be displayed where more people can enjoy its art. When asked who the instrument was meant for, Maghsoudi stated, “Art collectors, entrepreneurs, and high net worth individuals with a progressive mindset who love music.”
And music is the key to this piano. It’s not just a sculpture. Developed with the help of Kawai and Onkyo, Exxeo uses technology from Kaway’s CA-98, with its main voicing coming from the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand. For rendering engines, Exxeo uses Kawi’s Harmonic Imaging XL and SK-EX Rendering engines. The keyboard comes from Kawai’s Grand Feel II, which uses weighted wooden keys and triple sensor key detection.
This is a piano that will sound as good as it looks. Onkyo steps in to help with the amplification and speaker system, which delivers 200 watts of power through nine speakers.
There’s plenty of technology that goes along with Exxeo, all of which can be controlled via the 7-inch touchscreen display. The tail of the piano houses a battery, which allows the piano to be used even when not plugged in.
Each Exxeo, which will be limited to a run of only 88, is hand made and built to order, which means a wide range of colours is possible. The first pianos are set to ship in September.