The Decomposing Piano has been going through a natural transformation just outside the NAISA (New Adventures in Sound Art) North Media Arts Centre in South River, Ontario since December 2022.
As its name implies, the piano, exposed to the outdoor elements of Northern Ontario, has been decomposing little by little over the ensuing months. The goal is to expand on our expectations of the instrument.
Nadene Thériault-Copeland, NAISA’s executive director, explains in an interview with the CBC that the ever-evolving installation is meant to prompt listeners to think “outside their box and thinking of what you can make out of sound rather than strictly organized sound through the standard pitches that we normally hear on a piano”.
The Decomposing Piano is outfitted with contact microphones and other amplification aids, and in addition to the concert, members of the public are invited to visit and play the piano as it continues to transform over the next two years.
Here’s what the Decomposing Piano sounded like earlier this summer:
Nadene Thériault-Copeland is also a musician, and she’ll perform on the piano accompanied by Donna Brock on the violin. The concert on August 26, 2023 will raise funds for the project, and will be performed for a live audience as well as livestreamed.
Since the age of 8, Donna has been a devotee of the violin, turning to folk music and traditional fiddle style as an adult. She is active with bands locally and enjoys improvising as well as accompaniment. Donna earned a BA from Laurentian U. and later trained as a stone sculptor (Sir Stanford Flemming College). As a retired piano tuner, she is particularly interested in the Decomposing Piano and its possibilities, and helped develop the project.
She earned a BA Spec. Honours in Music from the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University in 1991, where she studied composition with James Tenney and performance with Christina Petrowska-Quilico. Over the years, she developed a passion for improvisation and alternate tuning. That led to the Decomposing Piano exhibit. Past President of the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology, she is the Executive Director of New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) and Financial Coordinator for Charles Street Video.
Concert with Donna Brock (violin) & Nadene Thériault-Copeland (piano)
- August 26 at 7 p.m.
- NAISA (New Adventures in Sound Art) North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario
- In-person and streamed live
Get tickets [HERE].
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