Yamaha Design Laboratory
What - Black Yamaha is a sub-brand of Yamaha originally created for Tokyo Designer’s Week 2003 by David Keech and the Yamaha design team in Hamamatsu, Japan.
How - It includes limited edition instruments, clothing, audio-visual media and live performances. The instruments represented a sophisticated exploration of colours, materials and finishes in product design, centred around the theme of black, and featured black leather upholstery by Japanese artisan craftsmen, black nickel plating, and black lacquer, all accented with Stirling Silver plating.
These treatments also altered the tonal quality and playability of the instruments, adding a further experimental dynamic to the project, which could feed back into Yamaha’s more mainstream production instruments.
Outcome - The instruments for an entire band were designed, manufactured and played at concerts in Japan, by a group of highly accomplished jazz musicians, all Yamaha company employees - The Black Notes. The instruments included keyboard, bass, drums, trumpet, trombone and sax.