The Piano Mill

Nestled in the forest at Willson’s Downfall, near Stanthorpe, The Piano Mill is a unique architectural feature, homage to the musical history of outback Australia, and an outrageous musical instrument all in one.  A square structure clad in copper, it's designed by architect Bruce Wolfe (managing director, Conrad Gargett) and is purpose-built to house sixteen pianos - eight on the first level and eight on the mezzanine. The walls consist of large-scale louvers, which can be opened and shut to alter the Mill's acoustic.

 

Sixteen pianos have been sourced from the Brisbane, Stanthorpe, Warwick and Toowoomba areas. Many are quite serviceable, and even reasonably in tune, while a few are more dilapidated, with wonky keys and bung notes.  Wolfe's concept is that the pianos be kept in the original, "found" state, to evoke the weathered sound of the outback.

 

To launch The Piano Mill, composer Erik Griswold
(
Clocked Out) created a new concert-length work, exploring the unprecedented sound potential of this new mega-instrument.  Incorporating mass sound textures, nature-inspired soundscapes, and bits of nostalgic Australiana, Griswold extends his large body of piano and environmental works to new frontiers.

 

Over Easter 2016, 16 pianists from the local area, interstate, and overseas, were invited to help bring to life this one-of-a-kind, living slice of Australian musical history. See below for photos and some videos from the event.

WINNER: AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC - APRA AMCOS

WINNER: SMALL PROJECT ARCHITECTURE - 2017 QUEENSLAND ARCHITECTURE AWARD

WATCH: AN EXCERPT OF THE PERFORMANCE

LISTEN TO THE ROAD TO THE PIANO MILL BY STEPHEN ADAMS

READ: ABOUT THE PIANO MILL

 ARTICLE: THE PIANO MILL - RESONATE MAGAZINE

LEARN: INTERVIEWS, PERFORMANCES AND WORK IN PROGRESS

ABOUT

THE PIANO MILL

EASTER 2015

THE PIANO MILL PROJECT IS:



Architect Bruce Wolfe
(Conrad Gargett)


Composer
Erik Griswold
(Clocked Out)


Research Jocelyn Wolfe

 

Builder Ray Toaldo

(Nutide Constructions)

 

SITE DESIGN: TANGIBLEMEDIA.COM.AU