Jamie Cullum's Amazing Exploding Piano Trick!


Jamie Cullum's new album 'The Pursuit' is already attracting critical acclaim and rising rapidly up the Album Charts, currently positioned at number 16 in the official UK album charts at the time we went to press. When Jamie's creative director Marc Silver approached Yamaha to discuss how the album design, videos, website, imagery and promotions could create maximum and lasting impact the idea of exploding a Piano was hatched.

Over 18 months of planning all came down to 4x3 second explosions, Yamaha had found a 'beyond repair' C3 for the project and also supplied hundreds of piano components including keys, hammers, shanks and strings all deployed to dramatic effect in the final nail biting blast. In all, four replica pianos were blown up, the shells of the pianos were fractured with an explosive cord resembling something out of a Bond film, charges were wired up, and cables ran to a detonation block. The button pushed, The cord shattered the replica cabinet, followed instantly with a whole series of secondary explosions precisely controlled to the millisecond to ensure the overall 'shape' of the explosion was correct. All the internal workings of the piano were then catapulted through the fractured cabinet structure using an air mortar which created a ball of shrapnel moving through the air. Legs and keyboard were both on separate charges and the film was shot at 1000 frames per second, or 40 times slower than real time.

In all, six cameras, motion and still were situated behind 2-Inch thick armoured glass!  All personnel cleared the area with the exception of the detonations expert that had drawn the shortest straw. No-one was injured but severe damage was caused to the doors of the studio, with the filmmakers stating the doors resembled a porcupine at the end of the process. Jamie detonated Piano number four and you can enjoy the dramatic results in the video here.

Leanne Hassan, Yamaha's Piano Marketing Manager comments 'we have been working closely with Jamie Cullum and his management on many aspects of 'The Pursuit'; the launch of the record marks the introduction of a range of promotional and educational plans designed to promote Yamaha Pianos and piano playing in general. We will also be announcing a range of Jazz Classroom materials for teachers and pupils in the New Year. Jamie Cullum is a very special friend to us here at Yamaha, he is one of only a handful of highly credible artists that has the capacity to communicate the joy of playing the piano to a wide audience, and we'll be ensuring we make best use of this potential throughout 2010."