New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Images of the Week: Sketches of Dismembered Pianos

What happens when discarded pianos are rejuvenated and extended with technology? It should look something along these lines:

That’s a rough sketch by artist Hugo Solís of his interactive sound sculpture “Metaphors for Dead Pianos,” which opens at the Seattle gallery Jack Straw on January 29 and runs through April 2, 1010.

Photos of two previous public renditions of “Metaphors” from last year (first at the Ex-Convento del Carmen in Guadalajara, and later at Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City) appear at the website of Eric Thompson (nestofdemons.com), who assisted in their installation. Here’s one of Thompson’s photos:

The original title of the work is “Metáforas para Pianos Muertos,” in the native Spanish of Solís, who was born in Mexico City and is pursuing his Ph.D. at DXArts in Seattle, aka the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington Seattle.

The image of a suspended piano, its innards splayed and connected to a raw grid of electronics, brings to mind David Byrne’s recent work “Playing the Building,” in which an organ is rigged to trigger sounds from inside an architectural site. But whereas Byrne’s piece physically links an antiquated instrument to a building, in the case of Solís’s “Metaphors” the relation of building to instrument is one in which the expansive space allows for the instrument to be taken apart — essentially allowing individuals to move inside the instrument. In that sense, “Metaphors” is in the tradition of the prepared piano, in which the insides of the object are treated with string, tape, metal, and other items in order not only to alter its sound, but to bring to the surface aspects that might have come to be taken for granted, made almost invisible, to the audience.

The brief description at the Jack Straw gallery states, in part,

“The poetical goal [of ‘Metaphors’] is to revive the instruments using a contemporary sonic perspective. The pianos are extended with custom electronic circuits, custom software, microcontrollers, sensors, motors, and solenoids.”

It would be interesting to know if the addition of these motorized, electric components is part of a metaphor intended to depict the piano, and the musical and cultural legacy associated with it, as something in need of life support.

More at hugosolis.net and jackstraw.org.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe



  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts