Learning the Tones Between the Notes of the Standard Scale

As we interact with our surroundings, we create resonances that spread from our actions. The dominant culture creates a kind of standard scale, which we are taught to use socially. The act of play allows us to experiment with tones not normally encouraged. My favorite thing to play as a child was the piano. Striking strings with hammers, the piano uses a quick and forceful action, not forceful enough to break or change the shape of the material being struck, but strong enough to ring out a percussive and powerful tone. This experiment with eliciting resonance with the surrounding environment, pushing the boundaries without going past the breaking point, is what fascinates me about the piano, and art in general. The piano in particular has called to me since I was young in part because I could pound the keys with the force of all my emotions – sometimes with my whole arm – and I couldn’t hurt it (though sometimes I would hurt myself!), in fact, this would only make it sing.

This piece is constructed from salvaged upright piano hammers, bronze guitar strings, copper wire, and steel key rings.

Photographs by Spencer Fisher.

Published by b.vonraven

Billy is a writer of songs and words and a painter and a draw-er.

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