A chance meeting at a show, a mutual burst of enthusiasm… and the project was born!
For designer and cabinet-maker François Desmarchelier, what appealed was the challenge of a somewhat crazy dream, the urge to prove himself and the beckoning of a new horizon.
For piano technician and restorer Xavier Bontemps, it was the idea of a piano that would be “different” but of high musical quality, the pursuit of a design that turns aside from the beaten tracks.
Aesthetics and musicality
The idea of the Desmarchelier & Bontemps “WALK IN TIME” piano first saw the day at the 2012 Bordeaux Salon des créateurs et ateliers d’art (Creative Art exhibition) where François Desmarchelier and Xavier Bontemps were exhibiting their products and work on either side of the great exhibition hall.
A partnership was born between the two businesses “Création-Desmarchelier” and “Au Clavier Bien Tempéré” with a view to creating a new piano by giving an existing instrument a design makeover and a completely revamped musicality.
A revision of the scale (string plan) and of the materials which determine the tonal quality (nickel-plated steel strings, nickel-plated soft iron wrapped strings, brass agraffes, etc.) was carried out with the assistance of piano-maker Stephen Paulello using materials particularly appropriate to contemporary music.
“WALK IN TIME” was unveiled at the Grand Palais, Paris, at the “Révélations” Exhibition in September 2015.
The basic instrument is a 1985 Seiler semi-concert grand (2m40/8 feet). In its finished state the cabinet measures 2m96/10 feet.
The “WALK IN TIME” may of course be rented for parties, concerts, etc.
But alternatively it may also be purchased, thereby opening the door towards … the Piano Desmarchelier & Bontemps n°2.