The Rolling Bösendorfer is another installment of my work that focuses on mechanical sounds produced by remotely controllable instruments, such as I have done with Eric Singers LEMUR GuitarBot and the Yamaha Disklavier.

The piece was performed at the Pianos Without Organs Festival October 2016 at John Q. Walker’s beautiful Greywalls Hall in Raleigh, NC. I had the choice between a Yamaha Disklavier and the Bösendorfer SE, but then it turned out that the Bösendorfer was responding in a much more sensitive way to MIDI velocity than the Disklavier. As with the “Choking Disklavier”, this work amplifies the sounds of keys and hammers that they produce before hitting the strings. The performer’s task (besides advancing through the sections of the piece) is to use MIDI velocity to change the sonic results, and to allow strings to ring occasionally.

This video is an excerpt of the performance. Bernie Grunwald recorded audio and video, Atiba Berkley provided the sound system that reinforced the sounds in the back of the audience, and Anatoly Larkin made sure the pianos were working perfectly. Special thanks to Alex Grimes for curating the festival, John Q. Walker for providing the festival hall, and Marc Wienert for providing the piano!

Support for “Pianos Without Organs” festival was provided by NewMusicUSA.

See works for LEMUR GuitarBot (Balance of Power) and Disklavier (Music for Choking Disklavier).

Three Nights Of New Works For Computer Controlled Pianos And Small Ensemble

October 7th-9th, 2016, Greywalls Hall, Raleigh, NC

Pianos Without Organs is a music festival dedicated to the presentation of new works in the North Carolina region. The festival emerged from a desire to connect composers and audiences in the region with those working in national and international contexts via the unique facilities offered at Greywalls Hall. The name of the festival – a play on the Antonin Artaud / Gilles Deleuze concept of a body without organs – conveys an interest in innovative and critical approaches to bodies and instruments, mechanism and prosthesis; through performances, talks, group discussions, and educational opportunities.

Greywalls Recital Hall was designed by Dr. John Q. Walker in 2002. The hall seats 65, and is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. The dimensions of the hall were modeled on those used by composer Richard Wagner for the hall in his villa, Wahnfried, in Bayreuth. (Wikipedia)

Festival Teaser Video

The Pianos without Organs Festival from alex grimes on Vimeo.