The Piano Mill
Nestled in the forest at Harrigan's Lane, 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) will create 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.
WATCH: AN EXCERPT OF THE PERFORMANCE
LISTEN TO THE ROAD TO THE PIANO MILL BY STEPHEN ADAMS
LISTEN AND READ AT ABC CLASSIC FM
READ: ABOUT THE PIANO MILL
LEARN: INTERVIEWS, PERFORMANCES AND WORK IN PROGRESS
THE PIANO MILL
SITE DESIGN: TANGIBLEMEDIA.COM.AU