Original work by Kathy Hinde

Piano Migrations - Aberdeenshire

This is an extract. The full piece is 11'19"

The rhythms of flocks of birds lure the listener in, building until their urgent calls peak and begin to sound human. As the chatter waxes and wanes in intensity, an ethereal sound lulls the noise, reassuring, drawing energy from the chorus as it rises and falls.

The artist recorded and filmed at the mudflats of Montrose Basin in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, around fifty thousand migrating, pink-footed geese resting en route from Greenland and Iceland. The crescendos were recorded at dawn and again at sundown.

These location recordings are combined with sounds from three derelict pianos, repurposed and transformed into kinetic sound sculptures onto which video projections of birds activate tappers and motors attached to the strings and soundboards. Never to be played again by human hand, the pianos are passed over to the birds who become the last living beings to play them.

Prior to dismantling, the final tunes played on the broken pianos were Mist Covered Mountains, a traditional Gaelic song; and a Granville Bantock piano prelude. Between the field recordings of this multi-sensory 'elsewhere' and the incidental playing of the broken pianos whose ‘last tunes’ have been altered through extreme time stretching, granulation and pitch reversing, time is called upon as a trajectoral frame in which migration is a necessary element.

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