Florica Vlad
Oscar G. Torres


What if you could drink a song? What would the Black and Tan Fantasy taste like?


New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The pianocktail is a piano that mixes drinks based on the combination of keys played. Each key corresponds to a different spirit or liquor and cocktails are produced appropriate to the mood of the song played. Now music can be drank in addition to being heard. The pianocktail exists in a world of contradictions and exceptions where music and liquor are in harmony with mood and nothing is as it seems.

The pianocktail is an absurd creation, an object imagined by Boris Vian in his novel “L’ecume des Jours”. How does the invention work? As it is described in the book:

“For each note there’s a corresponding drink – either a wine, spirit, liqueur or fruit juice. The loud pedal puts in egg flip and the soft pedal adds ice. For soda you play a cadenza in F sharp. The quantities depend on how long a note is held – you get the sixteenth of a measure for a hemidemisemiquaver; a whole measure for a black note; and four measures for a semibreve. When you play a slow tune, then tone comes into control to prevent the amounts growing too large and the drink getting too big for a cocktail – but the alcoholic content remains unchanged. And, depending on the length of the tune, you can, if you like, vary the measures used, reducing them, say, to a hundredth in order to get a drink taking advantage of all the harmonics, by means of an adjustment on the side.”

The fabrication of the pianocktail will be a seamless automated creation with switches underneath each key. 88 sensors will be used to detect the music being played. Specific combinations of keys will trigger a release of alcohol, juice or garnish into a glass. In theory, the right combinations of keys can produce a specific cocktail. The mixing is possible by using a series of shift registers and an Arduino microcontroller for the logic, electric motors and electronic valve control.