BILL RISBY           

“Well this is quite an incredible instrument, this is designed by Wayne Stuart who has given me the honour of being able to play it for a day and there's nothing like it I don't think in the world. The amazing thing about it for me is that it's filled with new ideas that haven't really been tried in the history of the piano so to me – listening to this instrument that resonates better than anything I've played, the harmonics are clearer than any instrument I've played and there's more options for altering the sound with your feet than any piano I've played and because of that it takes a lot more concentration and effort to master the sound – to control it and make it do what you want it to do but it can be enormously rewarding if you put your mind to it, persist, spend some time with it. Only in the last 12 hours or less I've developed a relationship with these instruments (there's one here and there's one sitting over there) and…I've fallen in love.”

"The first thing that strikes you when you play a Stuart piano is this incredible clarity and dynamic range which you simply don't have with any other piano I've played. The clarity in the sustain and the harmonics that ensue is something you have to experience to really understand. At first it's almost like, I mean I describe it as someone lifting the blanket off the piano as an instrument – every other piano I've played and I've played some really lovely pianos – none of them have had this focus, this definition and as a writer and a composer it definitely takes you in a certain…it allows you to write and work in a certain way. The piece that I wrote on this piano purely from playing very quiet and actually listening to what's happening after each note rather than the actual attack so it was more about the harmonics and the sustain that dictated where and what I do harmonically and melodically. "

"The bottom end for me is like - when you're playing some jazz pieces – it's very responsive. So I guess the main thing is, I guess how I judge an instrument is when I come in to play I've never heard it before, you sit down and the instant you sit down to play you start to compose, period you don't play it, it plays you and that's the feeling I got when I played this and I want to keep going for a while "

"It was the only piano I'd come across that could deliver a clarity of sound and a constant voice across the whole range of the piano but, particularly, the clarity of the sound is very dear to me and I think evokes an amazing emotional sensitivity in pieces. I'm actually achieving that with the two soft pedals and the sustain pedal as well. So the actual nature of the piano is extremely clean and clear and although it's challenging for the player the amount of control you can have with this piano is quite exciting and quite amazing. "

"I enjoy the intimacy that I can create using both pedals; I mean to create that close and intimate sound is very difficult on some pianos and really by using these two pedals the instrument sings – this is an interesting soft sound and very intimate and also it can really roar if I need it to. It has a new resonance and a sustain power that I think is going to illuminate the repertoire in all sorts of new ways…interesting. "


"I also think the instrument is very versatile in that it's great for chamber music – because of the fourth pedal we really can control it but as a concerto instrument it can be huge, it can be colossal the sound, and it's great that it's made here in Australia and I think Australia should be very proud of this instrument. I find it quite moving on the frame they've got Terra Australis – it's a nice thing to write. But in some ways it is revolutionary I mean most of my professional life is spent playing Steinways, Bosendorfers although I have toured extensively here on Stuarts, Wayne has almost built on the shoulders of giants because he's taken the best of what's gone before and just subtly redesigned things so in some ways it is revolutionary and in other ways not so much, it's still a piano. I think what he's done though is given the possibility of more colours and he's opened up a new sound world. I think he's rather than exploded the piano expanded it in every possible sense and that's got to be a good thing."


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