Performance 5: with Tina Krasevec and David Leahy (Sunday 1st September 2013)

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Time: Sunday 1st September 2013 at 11.00am

Weather/light bright, overcast.

Photographers/artists: photos by Neil Sloman audio recording by Nathan Thomas and myself, video footage by Kat Peddie, podcast interviews by Ben Horner.

Vegetation/wildlife: the rosebay willowherb, bracken and ferns contninue to grow, a lot of vegetation was stamped down to make space for dancing, more was flattened over the course of the performance.

State of piano: all of the keys had jammed, I had to remove the action leaving just the strings. At the end of the performance I couldn’t fit the action back on – the remaining 7 performances may have to use only the strings.

Unusual happenings: this month’s performance involved Tina Krasevec dancing and her partner David Leahy dancing and playing double bass.

The two dancers started in the clearing next to the piano, out of sight of the audience. The first thing they saw was Tina’s hand poking up over the bushes doing a mongoose impression (one thing that the video lacks is the audience’s point of view). Tina and David made creative use of the environment around the piano. Tina sprinkled handfuls of soil, used her legs to curl ferns over her face, balanced on the trunks and danced right out into the open space going up to 20/30 meters away from the piano. David found the ferns interfering with his bass playing and incorporated them. After a while he stopped playing bass and built a ramshackle sculpture using his instrument and bits of piano (lid, front board, lower board, action etc.).

This performance was in collaboration with the forest. This is something I’m unable to do stuck under the piano so it was lovely that the environment could be creatively involved.

I suppose the piano and me do collaborate with the environment but the rate at which we work together is very slow: the rate at which things grow and decay.

The video camera ran out of batteries after seventeen minutes. The performance lasted for 50 minutes. The video is an inadequate documentation of the performance.

Thank you very much to Tina and David for this fantastic performance. They will be performing again at Free Range on 21st November.

 

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Neil Sloman 1st September 2013, a set on Flickr.

Thank you Neil for these pictures that capture both the performance and the lovely community that has grown around these events.

Note: there are 46 photos in this set. Click here to see the whole set.

Next performance

The fifth piano in the woods performance will include dancer Tina Krasevec and double-bassist/dancer David Leahy as well as myself playing, bowing and stimulating what is left of the piano. This performance will take place at 3.00pm on Sunday 1st September. E-mail if you would like to attend (sambailey1@mac.com).

Performance 4: family day (Sunday 4th August 2013)

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Time: Sunday 4th August 2013 at 13.47

Weather/light: bright, sunny, 22 degrees

Photographers/artists: audio recoding and video footage by Nathan Thomas, myself and Eva Bailey (4yrs old)

Vegetation/wildlife: the piano was totally obscured by rosebay willowherb and bracken, ferns have grown inside and in front of the piano

State of piano: most of the keys were jammed except for a few notes at the very top and bottom, most of the damper felts had expanded and stopped the strings vibrating even when the damper pedal was down

Unusual happenings/circumstances: this month’s performance was given by children

Each month when I leave my family to go and play piano in the woods I think how much they would enjoy it. This project feels like I am playing like a child and I wanted to share this with my daughter and her friends.

We had a picnic and invited four families. About twenty people came and there were four children who played the piano (Eva, Hugo, Elsa and Anais; all four years old). I had prepared the piano with three e-bows, a hand fan and a vibrator. The children lined up outside the thicket that enclosed the piano. The plan was for them to enter one by one and play the piano. Hugo was the first child to walk into the thicket but he stopped when he could hear the piano ‘glowing’. “It’s getting bigger” he said anxiously and asked for his mum to come in with him. Once the three girls saw this they asked to go in together rather than one by one. This resulted in boisterous thumping rather than the cautious wonder I had hoped for. But one of the reasons behind this performance was to get rid of my ‘artistic’ intentions so I think the kids helped me out here.

What I had not anticipated was how curious the adults were. After the children had played almost all of the adults made their way into the thicket to play the ‘glowing’ piano, sometimes waiting until no one else was watching…

There were no experienced photographers or film makers present for this performance but Nathan Thomas kindly videoed the children’s performance and my daughter Eva experimented with the video camera by filming herself playing football and licking the lens.

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Neil Sloman 29th July 2013, a set on Flickr.

The piano is vanishing amongst the plants…