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A Lot of Pianos

Recordings of a series of performances pieces that used multiple pianos. The event took place in the piano showroom Markson Pianos, one of the most well-known piano suppliers in the UK, and was initiated by David Cunningham. Seven composers and artists each composed a work for multiple pianos to be performed by a large ensemble of pianists in the piano shop over the course of the evening of November 4th, 2010.

A musical vocabulary based around multiples of the same instrument is unusual, especially in the case of the piano--an instrument which is central within the Western classical music tradition. This event explores both within and without that tradition, connecting with other experiences--systems theory, group rhythmic structures (such as the musics of Ghana and Indonesia), indeterminacy, bell ringing--music that has a different history of organization, structure and experiment. A musical hybrid, something that wouldn't normally happen.

David Cunningham
Leo Chadburn
Rie Nakajima
Daniel Jackson
Cerith Wyn Evans
Mieko Shimizu
Genevieve Murphy

Special thanks to Stephanie Romig who organised this event as part of the centenary of Markson Pianos, to Simon Markson, Jean-Raphael Dedieu, Alberto Sanchez Nué, Peter Scott and the video crew and in particular all the pianists and composers who contributed significant time and effort to this project. This event was produced by The Island.


The Island


The Island radio series, produced and presented by curators Victoria Brooks and Andrew Bonacina, regularly presents on-site recordings of UK-based performance, music, panels and artist interviews. The Island also partners with the Clocktower Gallery on The Island Studio Sessions, a long-term research project that includes a series of residencies, exhibitions and radio broadcasts. The first two residents as part of the project are UK-based artists Haroon Mirza and Hannah Sawtell. These residencies are made possible by a collaboration between The Island (Andrew Bonacina and Victoria Brooks, curators) and the Clocktower (Alanna Heiss, curator). The Island is an itinerant non-profit organisation that develops curatorial projects in dialogue with international partners. The Island is committed to a collaborative model for working with organisations and artists across the globe to explore the critical potential of cultural exchange.