The Piano

30 March 2011

Amongst the rush of a full-blown digital age, it is refreshing to remember how music was once solely acoustic; instruments were made of wood, bone and forged metals. As a songwriter I am always under the influence of my surroundings, and when it comes to a creative burst, almost a heightened sense of things; taste, smell and touch. Texture can be a fascinating aspect of the musical journey often lost in mass-produced, machine pressed plastic instruments.

Out of these thoughts came inspiration for initiative. I quickly searched the local classifieds for some previously enjoyed upright pianos in need of a new home. I borrowed a trailer from our principal Lee Burns, and enlisted the help of some of my housemates and friends; so began the adventure.

The goal was to combine the flexibility of software based synthesizers and the convenience of modern laptop recording into a unique experience that engages its user beyond their automatic interactions with a keyboard interface. The resulting product is a creaky, slow playing, less than perfect 300kg MIDI controller and a total success. The feeling of broken ivory keys on your fingers, a brass pedal at your feet, and the smell of dust and dirt from the last half century swirls together in a soundscape crafted in a digital universe.

The future of this creation is still undecided and is much less important than the encouragement I hope it provides for other students, or anyone thinking of coming here to Hillsong College, to unlock and express the God given creativity inside each of them.

– Ian Locke, 3rd Year Hillsong College Student

A special thanks to my good friend Matt Litow who was an integral part of this endeavour; your hard work and attention to detail was incredible.

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