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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