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Mar 15 12 12:52 AM

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For those in New York interested in seeing a player piano in a modern environment, check out

http://whitney.org/Events/LucyRavenPerformance

This is part of the Whitney Biennial, the leading contemporary art exhibition. There are three specially-commissioned rolls, all variants of the same piece, played automatically as part of an installation.

This can be considered as part of the thread of automated music that goes back to the likes of Stravinsky, Hindemith and Toch; quite a different take to the art-music or nostalgic aspects of the player that hobbyists typically adopt, but actually a thread that's nearly as old as the player itself. The interesting variant here is that the rolls are hand-played rather than obviously-unplayable by hand, but still with the intent of being played automatically.

All of this may be a little too high-concept for enthusiasts, but it's interesting how a young artist sees the player piano. It also shows that there are, contrary to much of what's said, young people interested in the player piano - but in their own and today's terms, not necessarily like those our hobby tends towards.

Julian