I apologize for the long break in my blogging. The UnCaged Toy Piano concert had such a great first year. Chris Henry is absolutely wonderful for allowing us to use his beautiful space so freely. I felt so happy and satisifed with the new pieces I performed this year.
I was pretty nervous about premiering “Chroma” for toy piano, projections, sampling keyboard, broken cassette tape player and film dress. A few months ago, I was looking around my home and realized how much clutter I had. I noticed I had a lot of old VHS and cassette tapes of myself playing the piano when I was younger. I decided that I didn’t need these things anymore and felt inspired to make something new with these old materials. Rob and I started experimenting with these materials and we were so amazed by range the of colors that can be found in the metallic VHS tape. I’d say most of the video projection portion of the piece came from our experimentation of the materials.
I decided to use toy piano samples for the electronic portion to accompany an amplified toy piano. I also made a cocoon-like prop that was basically a lot of VHS tape wound into a ball with a broken cassette tape player mounted onto it. I was able to “play” distorted versions of my earlier piano performances on cassette tape by pulling the tape on the tape head manually. As you can imagine, it was a cassette tape mess…with the electronics I added with it, it sounded incredibly “boomy” and angular. Hopefully it came across as a kind of unleashing or birth of the cocoon.
In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I made a garment from a non-fabric material. It took me about two months to make an entire dress woven of VHS film. I liked the idea of wearing my old performances as if I was wrapped or “cocooned” by my history. A video of this premier performance is up on my “Look” page.
Someone in the audience took some great photos: http://flickr.com/photos/j-no/2970130653/in/set-72157608360072531/