Piano in the Woods

We interviewed Canterbury-based composer, improvisor and curator Sam Bailey a little while ago…

discussing his own musical background and the series of live music, film and poetry events he curates under the banner of Free Range. His latest project involves leaving an old piano in the woods and allowing the elements to transform it; for the next year Bailey will return on a monthly basis to play the instrument as it gradually decays.

After moving the piano into place a little more than a month ago, we returned to find the instrument surprisingly playable after a mixed few weeks of sunshine and rain. Bailey performed a 25-minute improvisation, beginning on the keyboard before opening up the case and working on the strings with an e-bow and milk frother. The piano’s sounds blended in with the birds, the wind, and the thunderous buzz of a propeller plane passing low overhead.

Each month Bailey invites different artists to attend and help him document the event with film, photography, or audio recordings, which are posted to the project’s blog. Future events will also include contributions from other musicians.


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