Ross Bolleter Night Kitchen (2002-2009)

There are prepared pianos ― the ones where the composers alter the usual sound by jamming all manner of foreign objects into the soundboard cavity ― then there are the pianos that nature has prepared for Australian improviser Ross Bolleter. He defines the "ruined piano" as one abandoned to nature, thus becoming "a decaying box of unpredictable dongs, clicks and dedoomops." The challenge of turning these quasi-musical tones into something resembling music is one Bolleter has mastered over the years. Some of these instruments have degraded to little more than percussive instruments, so he concentrates on a type of polyrhythmic workout punctuated by occasional warped notes. Elsewhere, he refines and redefines the principles of attack, decay, repetition and tempo to give new shapes to the broken resonance available. Eventually the limitations of these instruments reveal themselves to be advantages, removing the usual musical expectations from the equation and opening new pathways of creativity. (Emanem)