Andrew Ward has announced a free Kontakt instrument library featuring the sounds of his 1911 C. Bechstein Model 9 upright piano.

I have had it since 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday 9th January 1973, when I was nine years old.

I’d previously asked my parents if I could learn to play the piano. I was already quite a good recorder player and had tried the acoustic guitar for a year without really taking to it. Neither of my parents played an instrument although both loved listening to music. They had no real idea of what to look for in a piano but happened to hear that an old lady in the next village was selling hers. It turned out that she was asking £25 for it which was quite a lot of money to my parents back then – they really had to think about whether or not it was affordable and had little appreciation of the quality of the instrument they were getting. They were told it had been “tropicalised” and recounted to me how it must have spent some of its life in hotter climes… My first piano lesson was at 5:10pm on Friday 12th January 1973 (with Miss Dorothy Parkin: she had a Steinway upright that I had all my early lessons on, as well as about a dozen cats).

The piano was sampled by Patrick Ytting and is a available as a free download for Native Instruments Kontakt (full version) from Pianobook.

Make sure to check the library section of the website for many more free piano instruments for Kontakt and EXS24, including contributions by Christian Henson, Ted Kocher, Tamas Zsiros, Pete Malkin, and others.

More information: 1911 Bechstein Upright