Toy piano spotted!

Rob and I went to see Laurie Anderson’s new piece, “Homeland” at the Rose Theater. It was great to see what she is doing these days. I was moved by the sincerity of her songs and loved her quirky ways of storytelling. There were a couple of parts where she put an electronic effect on her microphone and her voice was transformed into a deep male voice. Pretty hilarious. She would talk about politics in a light manner at these moments. She had some great transitions. One of them, she was wearing a pair of white sunglasses with a small microphone attached to it. She was hitting her head side to side and biting her teeth together. The mic could pick up these sounds and it created a really booming rhythmic line.

On our way back to the train we passed by a piano shop and saw three toy pianos in their window. One of them looked like such a gem! It was an antique Winton. (I’ve actually never even heard of that brand.) It is an upright and you can look into the piano because there isn’t a front board on the instrument. It looked like they were felt hammers instead of metal hammers. My fingers were itching! The legs of the instrument were ornate and curved. ‘m returning on Monday to try it out.

A Peculiar Image

dsc_2290I noticed that Rob had placed the bird’s nest we found in Bloomington on top of the smallest toy piano I own. We found the nest on the sidewalk on his last day in Bloomington. We knew that Bloomington is a special place to us, so we thought bringing our “nest” from Bloomington to New York would be a nice symbol. I couldn’t help but to find the nest really large on top of the tiny toy piano. This particular piano has a gold trim, no black keys (they’re painted on), and the white keys are even too small for my fingers. Only a baby could play it!

dsc_2290I noticed that Rob had placed the bird’s nest we found in Bloomington on top of the smallest toy piano I own. We found the nest on the sidewalk on his last day in Bloomington. We knew that Bloomington is a special place to us, so we thought bringing our “nest” from Bloomington to New York would be a nice symbol. I couldn’t help but to find the nest really large on top of the tiny toy piano. This particular piano has a gold trim, no black keys (they’re painted on), and the white keys are even too small for my fingers. Only a baby could play it! There’s also a music box mounted on the back. Oddly enough, this piano produces a lot of low sounds because the high-pitched notes create a lot of undertones. I thought it was a funny image, so I wanted to share it.

A “Tinny” Tune

The moving truck finally arrived yesterday afternoon! Rob and I packed a ridiculous amount of small trinkets that most reasonable people would probably throw away when moving. Yesterday Rob showed me a toy stuffed cat that makes a purring sound when you shake it. I had no idea that was coming to NY with us. We certainly have a lot of chime toys, and I guess this stuffed cat is yet another variation of them.

 

I had miscounted the number of toy pianos I own. There are three on loan at the moment…and I have eight in my new home right now. That means I have eleven! I’m a little embarrassed that I lost track. I was also surprised to see the number of music boxes in the house. I have eight music boxes–six that actually have a wooden body on them. I was trying to get them all playing at the same time this evening. Some of them you have to keep cranking yourself. All the songs were blurred together, but the timbre of one particular music box stuck out. I have one that is very old without a wooden box. It was playing “Toyland” from Pinnochio.

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This particular music box mechanism sounds more “tinny” than others, and depending on what surface you place it on, it can sound either loud or muted. I can hear the rust on the teeth of it. I think that’s what makes it sound tinny. Tonight I had the idea of using these music box parts inside of a regular piano. This way, the regular piano could be the resonating chamber for these mechanisms. I haven’t gotten around to trying it, but it will most likely be an activity for tomorrow.

Funny how these objects make me feel at home.