La La Land has been highly praised by critics as a modern day musical. Bringing the world of Jazz to a new audience, the movie which stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, has already received five BAFTAs, seven Golden Globes and is up for 14 Oscars.
In the film, Gosling plays a jazz pianist who has dreams of opening his own club; he has received a lot of praise for his impressive piano skills musical ability.
During the film the scene where Gosling’s character, Sebastian, performs on stage with John Legend has caught the attention of many musical fans – in particular, the part where he plays on a futuristic looking keyboard. With lots of people wondering “what is that thing and where can I get one?”, It wasn’t long until ROLI developers spoke out about how the keyboard had made its way onto the big screen and in what is considered to be the biggest film of the decade.
What the audience spotted in the film was the Seaboard Grand, a musical instrument developed by London-based music technology company ROLI. It “re-imagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous surface and allows musicians to freely express sound using their fingertips”.
Marius de Vries, who served as the executive music producer for the film, chose the Seaboard Grand for this scene, praising it as “the pinnacle of cutting edge music technology”.
ROLI reveals that even Ryan Gosling became a “firm Seaboard aficionado” after his experience in filming with the product.
The Seaboard was requested by De Vries over a year before the film screened as has longstanding ties with ROLI and was very familiar with the Seaboard Grand and Seaboard Rise. He thought that the Seaboard Grand would be a great representation of a futuristic musical instrument that a classic jazz pianist – Ryan Gosling's Sebastian – would play.
“The Seaboard Grand has a pretty diverse fan base, but it's especially popular with jazz keyboardists who love being able to play piano, bass, and sax sounds on one surface,” said the firm.
ROLI also said: “The whole ROLI team has been delighted to see the critical and box office success of La La Land, which we didn't anticipate when we first collaborated on the film. The Seaboard Grand is almost a character in the film! It's a marvellous way for hundreds of thousands of people to see and hear Seaboard technology for the first time.
“We were especially impressed to see Ryan Gosling play with such panache. We hope his playing is an inspiration to any real-life jazz musician who wants a next-generation keyboard instrument.”