Synopsis by Mark Deming
While in the 21st century many musical instruments are mass-produced on an assembly line, at the Steinway Factory in Queens, NY, grand pianos are still made largely by hand, much as they were centuries before, and each piano develops a tonal personality very much its own as it slowly takes shape in the hands of expert craftsmen. Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 is a documentary from filmmaker Ben Niles that follows the meticulous process of creating one of these remarkable instruments, from the harvesting of the wood in the Pacific Northwest to the final touches before the piano is sent to the sales floor of a music store. Along the way, Niles talks to many of the people who have had a hand in the making of this piano, as well as those who later hear music being performed on the instrument. Note by Note was screened in competition at the 2007 Silverdocs Film Festival, a competition founded by the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel.
builder, craftsmanship, piano