Musical instruments that were once glorified and held in high esteem by musicians and audiences alike are gleaned for their parts and reimagined to become the raw material for my exhibition Resampled & Rearranged.
As a culture, we have assigned great significance to musical instruments, awarding the piano the highest position. But what happens when a piano is broken and no longer playable? Once beautiful and masterful, these instruments have been discarded at the dump or left on the street in the rain.
And yet, even at the dump, when I take one apart, onlookers are dismayed. We have assigned meaning to these objects, so what happens when they have lost their value as instruments? Even in their brokenness, our connection runs deep. The dichotomy of what they were and what they are now is at play. The “aura” in what remains is what I find most fascinating.
I want the viewer to see beneath the layers—to see what piano strings look like, since most people have never seen them outside of a piano. The patina of age, the “blue” they turn from corrosion, is beautiful.
Resampled & Rearranged orchestrates my love for these objects, for what they once were and for what remains. Perhaps the repurposing of their broken parts—made whole and new again in a different way—not only reveals their infinite possibilities, but also functions as an act of healing and unity in today’s divisive times. It is also an exploration in rearranging and in finding a new story… whimsical, serious, or simply a different way of seeing.
Now showing at Hartnell College Gallery
Up thru April 15th.
For gallery hours call 831-682-0845
Two-piano Duo, Ernest and Henry 2019
Piano pin board, piano strings, photograph of pianists; Ernest and Henry
Ernest and Henry were brothers born in Eureka, Ca. They had no interest in going to school or playing baseball with other children. Their one desire was to perform duets on the two grand pianos in their grandmother’s Victorian Mansion. It is rumored that their father mysteriously went missing after becoming angry and insisting they go to school.
Violin case, piano keys, guitar strings, piano hammer, various found parts and vintage Dreamland ticket.
Dancehalls were popularized on the Barbary Coast in San Francisco during the gold rush days, those days of the Wild West. Girls in the halls came to be known as, “Taxi dancers.” For 10 cents, men could buy a dance ticket. Women were commissioned on the number of tickets they collected from dancing as well as the number of drinks they could persuade the men to purchase.
Dreamland was a dancehall that later opened on 5th and Main Street in Los Angeles, after the owners visited the dancehalls in San Francisco.
In 1930 Richard Rogers wrote a song titled, “Ten Cents a Dance,” that was recorded by Ethel Merman, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald and others over the years.
Waltzing Matilda is dedicated to the taxi dancers, often struggling to make ends meet, and to Tom Waits, who sings a wonderful rendition of Waltzing Matilda.
Coronet, piano parts
In The Round
Two sets of piano pedals
Installation of funnel and cassette tapes
High Fidelity Boom Boom box 1 and box 2, High Fidelity Listening Chair
Parts from pipe organ, cotton covered electrical wire, vintage paper speakers and metal posts.
Piano board used for seat and back of chair, pipe organ parts as arms and sides of chair, vintage headset, metal legs.
Calvary Church in Santa Cruz had to get rid of their pipe organ so a new one could be built in its place. Artists were called to take parts of the old pipe-organ and create something new. These High Fidelity pieces have been made using those pipe organ parts.
Cassette tapes, cassette screws and parts on wood
Hill and Dale recording for Trimpin
Piano strings, metal disc, motor, flour, tar paper
Hill and Dale is the name given to the type of recordings first cut. They were cut by going up and down, hence hill and dale.
This kinetic work creates a self recording as the piano strings draw into the flour, leaving their own “recording.”
Hill and Dale (detail of recording)
Moonrise Sonata #965
Inside piano frame where sheet music sits, album sleeves, sheet music, screws from cassette tapes.
Box set boxes, music, liner notes
A Chairback for David Ireland 2009
Parts of a chair, table legs, violin neck.
Oh, Lady Be Good! 2011
So This Is What It's Come To: Rainwater
Swan Song 2010
Cassette tape inserts.
Piano parts, violin cases
The Sound of Memory 2010
Piano parts, funnel, transparencies, mouth piece.
Plasma cut steel, wood
Steel Guitar (side B)
Wood, guitar strings
Broken recordings 2010
old records, violin case
Opus 67 Installation
Opus 67 (top images installation #1)
On the gallery's center wall, a Laurie Anderson tape recording is used to create a large scale music score of Beethoven's Opus 67. The floor piece is a ten foot violin case of melted cassette holders. The work draws on memory, voice and sound, once articulated within the space of these walls
Opus 67 2010 (Installation #1)
cassette tape, melted cassette cases
Laurie Anderson audio tape
Detail Opus 67
Installation view facing the back wall.
Honey Drip 2010
Conglomerate of audio tape
New Arrangements (installation #2)
Each day of the New Arrangements exhibition, I explored the relationships of one piece to another. By moving piano parts around the gallery floor, changing the order and dynamics, the work presented itself as a "New Arrangement" in the way that a composer might create a new arrangement based on a prior composition.
New Arrangements was also a collaborative sound event in the gallery. I worked with Robin Lasser and her students in creating a sound piece which was later used in Robin's work shown in the Home and Garden Exhibition and the Jurassic Museum in Los Angeles.
The Art of Noise (Installation #3)
Record players created an "orchestrated sound," their needles placed on the spinning platters, each "vocalizing" their own voice.
Molto (Installation #4)
Cassette tapes suspended in the gallery room.
New Arrangements 2010 (Installation #2)
Wooden parts of pianos, piano keys, wire
Where Notes Go When They Die 2010
New Arrangements 2010
Wooden piano parts, keys, wire
The Art of Noise 2011 (Installation #3)
turntables, microphones, speakers
Detail (Art of Noise) 2011
In Nipmirt, the motor and disc are married thru gravity and motion. Their relationship animates the suspended strings which take on a life of their own. The piano strings travel in a circular motion. Winding together, they hold us in tension while we await their release. As performers, they create line drawings in flour on the floor and release their own sounds of invention.
'Nipmirt' performed by strings
aluminum disc, piano strings, motor, mic, tar paper, flour
Detail of strings drawing in flour
Weave Me A Song 2008
Liquid emulsion on watercolor paper, loom
An exhibition of Bay Area artists modifying the found object.
Artists included: Joseph Kohnke, Victoria May, Tim Ryan, Jen Groft, Jody Alexander, Marianne Lettieri, Presley Martin, Jamie Dagdigian, Robert Armstrong, Sheri Weeks, Donald Alexander, Laurel Shackelford, Greg Metler, Gary Quinonez, Inga, Christina Gonzalez, Diana Cohen, Thomas Rebold, Malcom, Steve White, Elizabeth Russell, Nancy Sevier
Portrait of C
Hand colored Silver Gelatin Print, glass, wood, wire
24" x 19" x 3"
Two Silver Gelatin Prints, wire, wood, glass
24"h x 36" x 2
Courtesy Karen Washburn
Concerto for Violin
Cyanotype, blue violin case, bow with human hair
Suitcase, two selenium-toned and hand colored silver gelatin prints, glass
12" h x 12" x 9"
Six Parts for the Violin
Three selenium-toned silver gelatin prints, violin parts, watch, wood, nails