It seems obvious in retrospect. The Standing Grand from Future Piano promises the acoustics of a grand piano in the footprint of an upright. Instead of turning to an electronic solution, however, it simply takes the strings vertical in a straight strung configuration that lends itself to experimentation by giving the performer access to every part of every string. This layout and lightweight materials also mean it weighs roughly a fifth of a traditional grand — 180 vs. 990 lbs. The project is being led by pianist Sarah Nicolls with assists from engineers Tim Evans and Chris Vaissière and piano builder David Klavins. It's seeking public backing via Kickstarter, but unlike most campaigns, backers will receive thank yous, digital downloads, concert tickets, or other rewards instead of actual pianos.