ok, guess the instrument:
clue 1: its a percussion instrument
clue 2: its not electric
Hmm. It’s good to be prepared – have one’s piano ready for all possible contingencies. At first I thought there might be some kind of voltage being applied to the strings, THAT would be interesting in performance. Have you ever tried a ping-pong ball? Then there’s potential for a sort of game when the ball is bounced from string to string. Useful side effect of determining note choices, too (putting the fun back into aleatoric composition?).
Dulcimer, harpsichord, piano and clavichord have all come to mind. Quite curious to find out what it is.
heh you got it!
I haven’t tried a ping pong ball but its a great idea as being lighter
you could get longer gaps between notes… I have used marbles but
being heavier I ended up with dense scatters of notes but that was
before I ‘prepared it’ – its certainly more percussive now!
In fact i can definitely see myself doing a lot of single note/hit sample
recording & then keymap it across a sampler to make rhythms
Partly what motivated me to mess with preparing the piano was that
a friend played me a sample library that included a prepared piano
& i was very impressed with the percussive tones & harmonics but
slightly repulsed by the idea of a ‘generic’ prepared piano – surely
the idea of an interesting prepared piano is about the playing
AND the preperation, no? Its through experimenting with materials
& following instincts that lead you to eventually feel the piano is
prepared enough to use, but reachign that state is a uniquely personal
endeavour, rather than a generic prepared piano v1 or something…
As soon as I used those alligator clips with the wires attached, the same
thought went through my mind too.. sending signals through piano
wires must be possible, like a giant spring reverb… hmmmm…
Another source of inspiration for this was from watching the doco
Touch the Sound about deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie
At one point she has a jam with Fred Frith who is playing prepared
guitars – its so beautiful to see & to hear! I highly recomend the doco:
Aye, it is a prepared baby grand piano!
I inherited it from a friends aunty who didnt have room for it any more…
It plays ok considering its age, but each tiem i have it tuned within a
month or so a few notes have drifted or started beating between the
multiple strings of each note… but after seeing Fred Friths prepared
guitars i decided to head off to the hardware store & these photos
are the result! I’ll record a bit with it & post an mp3
it certainly shifts your thinking in terms of sitting down
& actually playing something