Meet Stanley, a player piano with a twist- he’s an indie music lover who takes song requests via Twitter. Created for Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party, the interactive piano knows at least one song from each of the 100+ bands and DJs playing at the festival- Major Lazer, Neko Case, and Fitz and the Tantrums are among his favorites.
Music lovers at the festival and around the world can send a request to Stanley by tweeting their song choice to @stanleypiano. Stanford, a custom moderation tool, filters the requests and puts the songs into a queue. Songs get called from a pre-loaded MIDI, and Stanley starts to play. The person who requested the song is notified automatically with an @reply when their song is next; if they are at the festival, they can watch him play live (he’ll be stationed in the parking lot on Pike Street between Poquito’s and Havanna Social Club) or if they’re not in Seattle, they can watch a livestream of their song play.
If Stanley doesn’t know a requested song, he’ll ‘learn it.’ Beyond his indie favorites, he’s already added a large variety to his repertoire, taking requests ranging from the 2012 pop-hit Call Me Maybe to the classic Summertime by Gershwin.
Stanley was created by Seattle creative agency Digital Kitchen. Will Byrne, Director of Communication at the agency, explains a little more about the inspiration behind the social, interactive player piano:
Digital Kitchen’s Seattle office is located within the limits of the Capitol Hill Block Party. We approached them with the offer to create something to compliment the festival. We wanted to embrace our love of music and the maker culture of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. We starting thinking about how we could fuse an instrument with technology and social media. The player piano seemed like the perfect fit. We acquired Stanley from an 80-year old piano dealer outside Seattle off of craigslist and got to work.
Watch Stanley play his first song by The Miracles Club, and watch him play live with your requests from July 20-22: