art image

Playing Piano

- 2008

Materials: player piano, miscellaneous electronics and machines, logbook, player piano roll, sound using surface resonating speakers mounted to the piano's sound board

Dimensions: variable

Software design: Wild Rhombus Software
Electronics design: Gherkin Work
Woodworking: Steven Henderson

Installation View: YYZ Artists Outlet, Toronto

Photo credit: Peter MacCallum

Playing Piano is a partially deconstructed upright player piano prepared in the spirit of John Cage. This fully mechanized 1920’s player piano is animated by a motor and pneumatics (as opposed to being played by a person). A perforated paper roll, the physical translation of the musical score, controls the mechanized elements. The preparations to Playing Piano include various machines which strum and press a pie plate against the strings, whistle using the air of the pneumatics and amplify various parts of the piano’s mechanics. An array of sensors placed on the strings in conjunction with a computer and a series of microprocessors, enables the player piano to control these preparations.

See also: Playing Piano (vinyl) (2020), YYZ Artist Outlet

Exhibition History:
2009 Robert Langen Gallery (Waterloo, Canada); 2009 Dalhousie Art Gallery (Halifax, Canada); 2008 Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Canada); 2008 YYZ Artist’s Outlet (Toronto, Canada)