Prepared Piano Bench

     Prepared Piano gives a nod to John Cage, who coined the term for the alterations he made to the instrument for a number of his compositions. In fact, there is text written on various surfaces of the assemblage, which include the titles of all of the composer’s piano works, as well an excerpt from a technical guide on how to move grand pianos and a poem by the contemporary English poet Craig Raine. Along with its tessellation of circuit boards, computer components, Blackberries and other paraphernalia, the work includes six flutes, a clarinet, an Indian tabla drum, and any number of harmonicas, tuning forks, crossbow bolts, and an entire cell phone graveyard (and sequestered beneath on its nether surface, the crossbow itself). As an option, one may, for example, rest a couple of clarinets across its strings so that when played the sound quite resembles the effect produced by one of Mr. Cage’s prepared pianos. As is appropriate, the work is accompanied by a corresponding Prepared Piano Bench (not depicted here).

 

Prepared Piano BenchStephen Harris