Piano / Forte

Piano / Forte is a sound sculpture in which two piano harps – two pianos stripped of keyboards and supporting parts – swing in the air like pendulums. Inside the pianos, a sensor (accelerometer) measures the variations of x,y,z positions, communicating with a custom software that translates the motion into sound frequencies. These frequencies are sent back to the pianos through electromagnets (transducers) attached to the harp. Instead of being hammered by keys, the sound is generated by the transducers vibrating directly onto the piano’s body, resulting in a multitude of resonances and reverberations.

Piano / Forte at Science of Sound, at DordtYart, 2018. Photo by Louis Braddock Clarke

The swinging is done by a performer or by the visitor(s), adding an interactive element of play. The iconic, dramatic effect, is both visual and sonic, as the mass of sound floods the space, in ever changing tempo. The programmed frequencies include intervals that allow the resonances to build up and fade away within time. The software was developed by electronic music composer and digital artist Rob Bothof, a frequent collaborator of Mike Rijnierse.

Piano / Forte (2018) by Mike Rijnierse and Rob Bothof was shown at Science of Sound exhibition, at DordtYart, from September 1st to October 7th, 2018.

Metropolis M: “Een Kirrend, piepend en zuigend – Science of Sound in Dordrecht”

‘Ronduit magisch wordt het bij de schommelende pianoharpen in het werk Piano / Forte (2018) van Mike Rijnierse en Rob Bothof, en bij de luchtinstallatie Pneumatic Sound Field (2006/2018) van Edwin van der Heide. Twee grote pianoharpen schommelen – soms zacht, soms dreigend hard – midden in de loods; de schommeling activeert elektromagneten die op hun beurt de instrumenten resoneren. Het levert een diep gelaagd en intens geluid op dat zijn hoogtepunt beleeft op het wonderlijke moment dat de schommelende pianoharpen elkaar vinden op het hoogtepunt van de middelpuntvliedende kracht. Totaal synchroon en een alomvattend geluid; resonantie wordt pure poëzie.’ – Review: Nathalie van der Lely, 05.10.2018 | Metropolis M

Volkskrant: “Een tentoonstelling van klanken, tonen en noten” on Science of Sound 06-09-2018

Volkskrant: “Avant-garde kunst in Nederland: vier tentoonstellingen om te bezoeken in september” on Science of Sound 06-09-2018

Geluid in Zicht: Geluidskunst Science of Sound: Uiters geschikt voor blinden en slechtzienden 

Photo by Aisha Pagnes

The title Piano / Forte refers to the origin of the fortepiano, predecessor of the piano as we know it today. The current work can be seen as an semi-automated prepared piano, a technique of intervention to extend the sonic quality of this traditional instrument, a research much related to avant-garde American composer and theorist John Cage (1912–1992).

Photo by Aisha Pagnes

Photo by Aisha Pagnes

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Piano / Forte at Quartair Contemporary Art Iniatives

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Piano / Forte at Quartair Contemporary Art Iniatives