bzzzzzt….. tink, tink

ok, guess the instrument:

clue 1: its a percussion instrument

clue 2: its not electric

4 thoughts on “bzzzzzt….. tink, tink

  1. Hamish

    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?).

  2. tim

    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:

  3. tim

    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 😉

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