Piano Airlift (1988/2006)
exhibition: Kunsthalle Krems Factory, Krems, Austria, Oct. 2006
Installation for midi piano and video projection.
In 1984, I began a series of Aeolian pieces, the first one in
collaboration with Thaddeus Holownia, at his farm in Jolicure, New
Brunswick, Canada. In 1988 we were invited to the Sound Symposium in
St. John’s, Newfoundland, where we made a Long Aeolian Piano,
airlifting a piano by helicopter to the top of Gibbet’s Hill,
overlooking the harbour of St. John’s. The piano served as the
soundboard for long piano strings suspended down the cliff of the hill.
The strings resonated loudly from wind vibrations for a two-week-long
The airlifting of the piano was an art action itself, and the takedown
of the piece was another art action – when we threw the piano
over the cliff to smash into pieces.
In this piece, a midi-player piano sits in the middle of the gallery,
playing an accompaniment to the video of the piano being lifted by
helicopter to the hill in Newfoundland.