Sustain Pedal - The Tubalicious Invention

When all the engineers and musicians who had visited schools before Christmas came together to select the 88 designs to use in the performance, Martin asked us a surprising question: how would we play the pedal on the piano?  We’d forgotten to think about this, and started to worry that we would have to re-name our project 89Pianists, which doesn’t sound right at all.  Fortunately, then we found Jessica’s design, and realised that using her idea, Martin himself could operate the pedal while he conducts the piece, and we could stick to using 88 Pianists. Phew!  Jessica’s picture shows a button causing a heavy marble to drop in order then to press a syringe and move water along a tube.  We thought about this, and because water is so heavy, thought it might be quite difficult.  So instead, with Jessica’s permission, we’ve inserted a lever and a hydraulic cylinder between the two sections of tube.  The lever drives water along a pipe, to move another cylinder which plays the pedal.  But don’t worry Jessica! We’ve also added a foot pump from the local camping shop, which will blow air up a long tube and make a whole set of blue ping-pong balls jump up and down every time Martin plays the pedal.