There is nothing sadder than the death of a musical instrument, but this broken old piano was deceased long before I got it. So my mission was to immortalise its final sounds as it was struck, scraped, twanged, hit and slowly deconstructed to a pile of kindling and broken wires. And then a wake was held….
The resulting library is an incredibly diverse collection of disturbing and unsettling sounds, perfect for evocative sound design but also useful for many practical applications: some of the wood creaks, shrieks, hits & splits are particularly resonant, while many of the metal-on-wood scrapes are prime source material for woosh creation.
Along with deconstructing the upright piano, I also did two recording sessions with my old Collard & Collard baby grand piano, which was “prepared” for sound effects rather than music. Recorded using dual contact microphones, the subtle interactions bely the aggressive nature of the resultant sounds.