Retired Piano

Electronic. 6min.

When I was eighteen, I bought an old Bentley piano online for £80 and learned how to play on it. Once I left my house to study in London, my parents didn’t hesitate to remove the piano from the house but were kind enough to keep it for me in the garage. Needless to say, each time I return to visit, my poor Bentley looks a little more run down and neglected and is sliding ever more out of tune. In this piece, my aim was to capture the ghostliness of my piano’s presence in the corner of the dusty garage.

I did this by recording various sounds from the piano including, among other things, improvised playing, scraping the strings, and knocking the body of the instrument. These sounds were then manipulated electronically and arranged into a piece. Manipulations include accelerating and decelerating scrapes, lowering pitches to create dramatic bass tones and deleting harmonics from piano notes in order to compose with the completeness of the basic sound.

© 2020 by Thomas Foster.