The nine-metre, copper clad Piano Mill is located on an attractive property within the distant area of Wilson’s Downfall. And but, strolling to the location, there have been automobiles aplenty threaded by way of a thicket of timber. The devotees’ enthusiasm was tangible because the rugged-up punters, on a chilly, dank Easter Sunday, adopted the clockwise path of performances located in assorted outside spots. A percussive ‘clang’ each fifteen minutes signalled it was time to maneuver on.
Classical artwork music is rule sure, perfection is paramount and blockbusters by enduring superstars like Bach, Beethoven and Brahms nonetheless dominate 21st century live performance packages. Piano Mill’s success has been resulting from it providing an alternate technique of experiencing contemporary, authentic music within the spirit of a sonic journey staged outdoor.
The Piano Mill’s environmental ‘stage’ is a strong leveller by which conventional hierarchies are dissolved. Boundaries between performer and composer, architect and musician, viewers and performer, uncooked sound and tunefulness are refreshingly eased. And so too are the customarily carefully guarded borders between jazz, artwork music, world, people and experimental genres and, between improvised and notated music. On this occasion, the random sounds of nature similar to carolling butcher birds contribute extra texture.
It’s no shock the leisure featured inventive dance by motion artist Jan-Baker-Finch and Creative Director Vanessa Tomlinson in Down From The Arch, and completed visible artwork by way of the eco-themed optics created by Renata Buziak and photographer Greg Hurt.
The primary micro live performance was in Lagavulin, an intimate recital corridor superb for solo and chamber efficiency. Right here Louise Denson performed her personal music at a cool tempo, an introspective ‘telling’ gilded by her reward for rhythmic variation and silvery tone. Michael Hannan, composer and pianist, who has been concerned in annually’s occasion because it started in 2016, delivered his bespoke Birds Calling On Harrigans Lane (2021) a touching tribute to Jocelyn and Bruce Wolfe, Tomlinson and Creative Advisor Erik Griswold.
In 4 episodes, the work explores the signature calls of 5 birds recorded on the Harrigan’s Lane property. The atmospheric tableaux in Hannan’s compelling supply essayed the vocals of the pied butcherbird, the lewin’s honeyeater and gray butcherbird, the golden whistler and eventually the gray shrike-thrush.
In Bowmore flautist Hannah Reardon-Smith performed stay along side area recordings on the bizarre ‘recital platform’ of an enormous granite boulder. Erik Griswold’s ingenious aptitude for ready piano was revealed in Hibiki, a toy piano set. The Boundary Riders’ wild murmuring of people and jazzy conventions on the Suntory Stage featured a blaze of trombone, bagpipes, a flute, a tin whistle and a name and response contribution from woodblock gamers planted within the crowd.
Nostalgia and a poignant ‘misplaced and located’ sentiment permeated this piano-centric pageant. Alfresco efficiency was de riguer in mediaeval Europe and but discovered once more on this distinctive leisure which was impressed by Bruce Joyce’s fascination with misplaced Australian pianos produced through the early 20th century when ‘uprights’ have been as coveted because the iPhone is as we speak.
Bruce and Jocelyn Wolfe, piano rescuers should you like, discovered exhausted devices manufactured through the nation’s misplaced period of very good piano manufacturing and Griswold enshrined the devices’ damaged strings, tinny timbres, dud keys and off kilter tuning into visceral driving music. His inventive leaning explores the tipping level the place ‘one self-discipline, style or resonance merges into one other’ and this inclination was acute within the thrilling finale, All’s Grist To The Mill.
In gathering mist, this twilight live performance occurred throughout the illuminated Piano Mill, itself an instrument, which might accommodate sixteen pianos and gamers. The piano crew included Colin Noble, Caleb Colledge, Cara Tran, Stephen Emmerson and Rebecca Lloyd-Jones. Baker-Finch’s theatrical descent from the mill swathed in blue silk was the prelude for the keyboard power to start its densely layered shimmering sonority, paying homage to 1000’s of cicadas sawing the air at nightfall.
Via the piano choirs’ a number of textures and eco-triggered soundscapes a number of eerie quotations surfaced. For example, Beethoven’s Fur Elise, out of time and out of tune, a hobbled Chopin waltz and a wilfully stilted airing of Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Griswold’s achievement lay in how superb these parodies sounded having risen from a mattress of daring up to date language in celebrating these pianos.
There’s one thing irresistible, magical and laudably accessible about stumbling throughout comparatively casual music-making in surprising locations when the aspect of danger is alive and welcome and never considered a risk to a flawlessly executed efficiency. This was a particular and revelatory day. Whereas Piano Mill was introduced for the ultimate time final Sunday, the priority of high quality music-making within the atmosphere will hopefully encourage others to create the identical. And the notion of an architectural body itself a sound-maker and instrument and efficiency house, lives on as an example within the large immersive guitar in Brisbane’s latest Curiocity Pageant.
Easter at The Piano Mill 2021
Venue: The Piano Mill | 323 Harrigans Lane, Willsons Downfall, NSW
Dates: 4 April 2021
Gillian Wills is an writer and humanities author who has revealed with Australian Stage On-line, Limelight, Griffith Evaluate, Australian Guide Evaluate, The Australian, Weekend Evaluate, Good Studying, The Strad (UK) Lower Frequent, Loudmouth, Arts Hub and Artist Profile. Her memoir Elvis and Me: how a world-weary musician and a damaged racehorse rescued one another, Finch Publishing, was launched in Australia, America, Canada, The UK and NZ in 2016.
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