Future of Sound – the 'prepared piano'

Tilly Automatic - setup

Tilly Automatic - piano

On Friday I was in Leicester with Tilly Automatic for another Future of Sound event. It was another strange and interesting mix of artists, designers, scientists and sound recordists presenting work, ideas and inventions. I was made up to meet Chris Watson, who presented his immersive recordings of the Galapagos waters, and Mike Faulkner of D-Fuse who is a pioneer of VJing and video performance.

Our own stuff went really well again, with Tilly and myself both trying new things in the performance. This time I managed to take some pictures of the setup and the insides of  Sarah’s ‘prepared piano’. The top hat houses a bluetooth device that senses tilt, and becomes a performative way for sarah to distort the sounds. The pieces of wood on the piano board have motors attached which spin round and tap the string, the speed of which is determined by a midi device. There are also a few random items housed in there which Tilly can use percussively on the strings and frame of the piano. At the moment she smuggles all this bomb-like machinery to the venue and inserts it into a grand piano, however she has been busy making her own upright model, hung on a custom made frame, which she affectionately refers to as ‘the beast’.

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