pituite souvenir

nov 28, 2003.

Look, here's my souvenir!

Pituite Piano

It is one of three similar pieces that I picked up from the floor, almost a month ago now, at the end of a concert - was it a concert? - by Sun Plexus, organised by the Parisian Vert Pituite label in Les Voûtes, the eight in their la belle soirée series (earlier on in the SoundBlog I commented on the seventh).
There were many more to be had.
About 88, I'd say.
That's the number of keys on a piano.

It was an old piano, mind you. It even was a very old piano. Painted all white, it was the star of Sun Plexus' performance. (I guess one should call it a performance.) Which consisted in an hour long destruction of the already time worn instrument. In the dark. They were three, and they were armed. The old piano had only its miserable self. But it did put up an admirable fight.

Us onlookers were seated around, watching the ring. Which at times was not totally void of danger due to flying debris. We did all survive, though. Contrary au piano.

I still regret having missed the moment (some twenty five years ago by now) that, some doors from where at the time I was living (in the Amsterdam neighboorhood called 'De Pijp') a guy about to move house and who for some reason did not feel like moving his piano, simply took out one of his windows (that's what you do with the old wooden appartment windows in Amsterdam) and pushed - he was on the third floor - the thing out, to have it smash down on the pavement. Standers-by described the re-sounding of the crash as "awesome". I actually - as some sort of a recompensation - recovered that piano's iron frame, which had hardly been damaged by the fall, and with a couple of friends managed to carry it over to the street level appartment of the house where I was living, and which was used as kind of a 'community room'. I stalled the thing there, promising myself to move it upstairs and 'use it' - later. But later never came. Know it has been standing there for a long time. Then somehow it got lost in time.

It is one of the items on my still-to-do list: to one day re-enact this piano pushing.
Or make it a public burning.
And micro-record the event.
Then multitrack re-play it, dissect it, in slow motion, fast-forward and rewind.

I thought that Sun Plexus's 'piano destruction' event might be a source of inspiration for such a future project. Unfortunately, though, the event, while being sort of fun, was sonically far less interesting than I had hoped for. This was partly due to the 'high and droning' sort of a soundtrack the Sun Plexers used to accompany their travail. It actually did not much more than masking much of the more interesting sounds of the instrument's 'decomposition'. It did not add, it subtracted (diverted).

But also: it is not easy to destruct a piano. It is not easy at all. And I'm tempted to state that this november evening aux Voûtes the piano won. Easily.
True, it ended up on the floor in a thousand and more pieces.
But in the process it did never once unveil ...

Ah, well ...

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