A few days before Christmas, acclaimed pianist João Carlos Martins notified his colleagues to a Sao Paulo bar so he could show off the finest present he’d earned in years. A new pair of bionic gloves that are certifying the 79-year-old play with both hands for the key time in more than two decades.
Treated one of the great linguists of Johann Sebastian Bach’s tune, the Brazilian classical pianist and conductor had resigned last March after 24 surgeries taxing to stop cramps from a regressive disease and a series of calamities. His constraints had contrived him to work mainly as a conductor since the early 2000s.
But since the terminating days of 2019, friends have been retracing to Martins’ downtown penthouse to hear him bring Frédéric Chopin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his front runner Bach back to life at his Petrof piano.
Before the gloves, which were chiefly advanced for him, the pianist could only play songs gently with his thumbs and, sometimes, his index fingers.
“After I adrift my tools, my hands, and couldn’t play the piano, it was if there was a carcass inside my chest,” Martins told The Associated Press.
Martins’ health dilemmas date back to 1965. He adequately overcomed after every setback, nerve batter in his arm exposed during a soccer match in New York, a assailant hitting him over the head with a metal pipe while he cruised in Bulgaria, and more. But even friends expected the current surgery, on his left hand, to mark the edge of his days on the piano bench.
That might have been his outcome, were it not for a designer who concluded the pianist’s retirement had come too early.
Ubiratã Bizarro Costa conceived neoprene-capped bionic gloves that bump Martins’ fingers upward after they afflict the keys, and which are held in sync by a carbon fiber board.
Costa and Martins spent the consequent months verifying several prototypes. The perfect match came in December, and cost only about 500 Brazilians reals ($125) to build. Now Martins never takes off his new gloves, even when going to bed.
Martins said he has earned more than 100 gadgets in the last 50 years as incredible solutions to his hand disputes. None worked well or deep enough.
Martins, interim, is rehearsing early in the morning and late at night, to the contentment of his neighbors, until he can enact an entire Bach recital perfectly.
“It could take one, two years. I will keep presuming until that happens,” he said. “I won’t give up.”