In 2012 UK-based artist Tim Vincent-Smith converted two retired upright pianos into a custom staircase and loft bed. To build the structure, Vincent-Smith had to carefully disassemble the pianos in a process he likened to butchery:
Dismembering them put me in mind of the French restaurant where they kill a cow on the weekend and prepare every part for food. Nose to tail carpentry. The noises that came out of the carcass – as one by one the strings were cut, as the age-jammed creaking screws were forced loose with brace and bit, as the hide-glue joins were split with a wooden club and meat cleaver – composed the most extraordinary swan song. As with good butchery, great care is taken to preserve the best cuts and though to the faint hearted observer the scene is perhaps macabre, to the butcher it is an honour to pay homage to the life that has passed in this way. Even in the dry acoustic of the studio every sound resonates through the body of the instrument creating the effect of a large stone hall.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s this thing called Spotify that everyone’s using these days. Lately, there’s been a lot of grumbling in the music community about the impact of streaming services like Spotify — mainly being that artists are given a pretty insulting amount of compensation. It’s so incredibly convenient though, and considering that fact, it’s free, how can you really blame anyone for taking advantage of it?
We really have come a long way since we were hand cranking those wax cylinders on our phonographs so that we could feast our ears on some vaguely musical hissing sound that came from a horn. Streaming is a relatively new phenomenon, and it’s pretty hard to argue that any advance in technology has ever negatively impacted the progression of music in the big picture.
So, maybe, there is hope. But wait, is vinyl making a come back? No, not really. People are definitely buying a whole lot more records than they were seven years ago, but the vast majority of people still listen to music via digital format. There are people who have invested exorbitant amounts of money in hi-fi equipment to supposedly prove that their records sound better than your iPod.
Your run-of-the-mill Crosley turntable that you picked up from Urban Outfitters definitely doesn’t though. So what gives? Is this really just a result of hipsters being nostalgic for a time they didn’t even know? Maybe, but my guess is that it’s a reaction against the lack of sentimentality that digital music has, and what fills that void better than owning the huge physical artifact that is the vinyl LP of the music you cherish?
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Musical instrument makers have always been fascinated by pushing the boundaries of their craft, and several creative individuals have created automated musical instruments that play without the need of a human performer.
Belgian composer, performer, and instrument maker Godfried-Willem Raes has invented a huge number of bizarre and offbeat instruments during his career. Many of them are unusual instrument/robot hybrids capable of being controlled by computers.
Full Story at: Dark Roasted Blend