J. Milo Taylor - Dissolving Ghost Piano
  Year :   2008
  Location :   Germany
  Worktype :   Sound Installation
  Info :  

  Work Details  
  The reverberant exhibition space and the Steinway piano present within it suggested to me something I had long wanted to try - a variation on Alvin Lucier's "I am Sitting in a Room". An improvised section of extended playing was recorded, and over a period of a hour iteratively replayed back into the room. Gradually the original sounds 'dissolved' and blended with the resonant frequencies of the space creating a bell-like chiming atmosphere played back into the room during the duration of the exhibition. The windows were left open allowing the sound of the local church bells into the gallery environment, the final images of this sequence link to another work I presented at the same time - both are explorations of open systems. This installation piece was inspired by Alvin Lucier’s ‘I am Sitting in a Room’ and created during my recent residency at the Kunstlerhaus Schloand#946; Balmoral, Bad Ems, Germany. In the initial proposal for the residency, an electroacoustic work was outlined, based upon the transformation of water sounds. Upon arrival in Bad Ems, it was clear that there were neither facilities for either the development, or presentation of such a work. Each room had high ceilings and a highly reverberant acoustic. I found this bell-like resonance interesting, especially considered in the context of the broader soundscape of Bad Ems, dominated by the sound of the church bells that regularly echoed throughout the valley. A short improvisation was recorded on a Steinway Grand, the recording of which was played back, and iteratively re-recorded, following Lucier’s method, creating an hour-long looped installation – a dissolving ghost piano.