[Sept 8 – Oct 21] Life This In Find We – An Interactive Piano Roll by Jess Rowland

New artworks in the Artworks and Experiences Exhibition include Life This In Find We,  a found object player piano roll, reinvented as an improvisational interactive musical device. Over 12 feet long, the paper roll can be performed on by touching the “digital” holes which were originally designed to actuate the notes on the piano . The piece can also be taken as a form of “graphic notation”, instructions for performance that welcome, but do not require, interaction. 

LOCATION: Governors Island, Nolan Park Building 8a

DATES AND TIMES:  Sept 8 – October 21, 2018

TIMES:  Fri. Sat. Sun and Holiday Mondays noon – 5 pm

Governors Island New York Ferry Schedule

Life This In Find We is an interactive sound object built from a repurposed century-old Piano Roll. Piano Rolls were originally designed to be played in automatic “player pianos”, and were marked with holes to denote where which note to play on the piano as the roll scrolled along. Here, the piano roll is a touch-sensitive musical instrument itself, confounding together the “notation” designed for the player piano and the electric “sensor” which generates the sound. Participants are invited to place one hand on the copper strip of the piano roll and the other on the dashed holes of the piano roll, creating unique and changing patterns of sound. In this way the piece explores the relationships between the physical material of sound, musical notional, and interactivity of musical instruments.  With a wink and a nod to composer pioneers who creatively reused piano rolls, notably Nancarrow and Trimpin, Life This In Find We invites a novel and playful dialogue between antiquated and speculative notions of musical communication, the past present and future of sound technology, and alternative realities for what it means to “make music”.

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