This piece will tell the stories of twenty unique pianos from around the world – from Steinways at famous locations to forgotten out-of-tune family pianos. The composition, for solo pianist, will be played on a simple table, turned into a virtual piano through bespoke soft/hardware created by the Radiophonic Workshop.
"Along with the other selected artists, I'm thrilled to be part of this programme. In an increasingly fragile music economy, these kinds of opportunities can really help support and stimulate interesting work that may not have otherwise happened." Matthew Herbert
"20 Pianos will be utterly unique - a composition, a Proustian evocation of piano memory, part performance art and technological wizardry. We are thrilled to be working with Matthew Herbert on this exciting venture, and proud as well as grateful that the project has been chosen to be part of the first edition of the New Music Biennial." Third Ear
About Matthew Herbert
Matthew Herbert's works range from numerous acclaimed albums to Ivor Novello-nominated film scores. He has performed thousands of concerts, from Sydney Opera House to the Hollywood Bowl. He's remixed iconic artists including Quincy Jones, Serge Gainsbourg and Ennio Morricone; and worked with musicians from Bjork to Dizzee Rascal.
Other collaborators include chef Heston Blumenthal, playwright Caryl Churchill and writer Will Self. He's best known for turning found sounds into electronic music, as in 'One Pig', following a pig's life from birth to plate. He is relaunching an online Museum of Sound, and was recently appointed Creative Director of The New Radiophonic Workshop.
About Third Ear
Third Ear produces and commissions music and mixed media events, festivals and tours of the highest quality and provides guidance and support to other music professionals on a consultancy basis. It brings together new music professionals in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world by setting up collaborations and by providing a platform for discussion through regularly hosted conferences. It aims to explore new directions in performance and collaborative projects and to explore and develop new ways of presenting, programming and producing multi-disciplinary events.
The press says:
'[...] mesmerising and powerfully nostalgic.' The Scotsman
The performance of 20 Pianos will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 9 August 2014 and will be available as a digital download in MP3 and FLAC formats here on 25 August 2014.