Art works of the Post Piano Project fall into 2 categories: Instrument/Installation pieces and Object d’art. Sound-making site-specific Instrument/Installation pieces give voice to their installed environments and Art Objects are meditation on craft of listening.
At over 6oo lbs an instrument and 41 decommissioned, deconstructed pianos, we have made over 13 tons of art – –
Barbour refers to the Instrument/Installations are “Authorless Instruments” Often made from salvaged iron harps & soundboards and placed as site-specific installation art pieces in conceptually-interesting surroundings, these Authorless Instruments collect vibration and reflect sounds from materials re-imagined. The installed site-specific instruments are influenced by their environment sculpts experience and environment drawing the attention of listener to the spaces, silences, and sounds. These pieces encourage musicians & non-musicians alike to partake in sound making with these familiar materials presented in unconventional format.
“Sympathetic Piano” – 2013 at
Lake Eden – Black Mountain College, reHappening
The piano can be seen as a ready laboratory for experiments in sound. Use of a piano in this landscape is of course a reference to John Cage and his short-stay at Black Mountain College. Using feedback from the environment, The Sympathetic Piano was interactive sonic sculpture with tones from specially-tuned instrument bouncing off the glass-like surface of Lake Eden.
Image of The Sympathetic Piano as captured Zach Brown at the 2013 Black Mountain College ReHappening at Lake Eden
For this project, a harp of decomissioned spinet piano was tuned to resonate frequency of Lake Eden by project-collaborator composer & mathematician Michael Luchtan. With tones developed by mathematical formulation to work in harmony with landscape, this harp was available to be played by event attendees.
Special Thanks: Images of The Sympathetic Piano by Zach Brown (2013)
“The Sound/Round Room” (2014) – This piece was a site-specific Instrument/installation environment in stone room that had been John Cage’s studio while he was at Black Mountain College. Lasting only for evening of reHappening event in April 2014, we installed 3 modified harps made from decommissioned, deconstructed pianos. Piece was played for hours by attendees. Short pieces were organized at intervals with open-play-access in between those scheduled events.
With help of All-Star Creative Media, we made a short video that gives overview to the piece:
“Access” (2014) at Moogfest, an annual digital-music festival that was at that time hosted in downtown Asheville, we installed a horizontal-harp at the corner of Lexington and Hiawassee Streets for an evening’s event/performance. Over course of evening, the sounds that came form the open harp became more visceral and sounds through the night were haunting microphone to inner voices of the players.
“The Wind Rose” (2015): Installed in yard adjoining the Bauhaus-era Gropius-Breuer Bauhaus building in former campus of Black Mountain College, “The Wind Rose” was first installed at the 2015 Black Mountain College ReHappening. It is accessible instrument, playable by people, by wind. Collaboration with composers and instruments, we invited 8 esteemed composers to create works for the instrument we call the “Wind Rose”.Giving voice to the shape of the landscape, “The Windrose” allows for composer & player to share voice with the wind.
To play “The Wind Rose”, the controller piano sits on one end (with its recognizeable keyboard intact). Interface of a piano connected thru with long filament lines attached to very high quality open harp of very high quality instrument (for this installation, it was harp of a beautiful 1890s Wissner.)
Foundation of “The Windrose” is based on Greek-insturment called the “Aeolian Harp” which is a 3rd century BC Greek wind-landscape harp that picks up wind-based vibration of the wind and made a drone-type sound. Composers (or not), Musician (or not), “The Windrose” is an adapation of this Greek instrument made into interactive installation piece playable by all. Player sits at one side and receiver harp at the other with this wind tickling long horizontal strings that express combined sounds from all components.
The Aeolian harp would simply be a long string catching sound of the wind with movement reverberated against soundboard. “The Wind Rose” is a new instrument because it has the player &receiver from 2 different sound makers being joined with sound made from vibration of the wind.
2016 #postpianoproject at London District Studios: As part of my term as Resident Artist at London District Studios and as celebration of their grand-opening, we installed an open-harp from a very small formerly-player piano in the gallery at London District Studios.
and Objects d’art: