Equinox Piano – Kontakt Instrument
In the back yard of a small house in Magrath, Alberta, is the hulk of a once fine piano made by Joseph Bishop & Co., London, England. The mechanism is gone and it has spent over a year exposed to the wind and rain, sun and snow on the Canadian prairie. However, when I plucked the strings I was surprised to find that it rang true and was still basically in tune. Though rusted, none of the strings were broken.
After dark, on the mild, moonlit night of September 21st, 2021 (the fall equinox), I took my equipment to the site and using a small tack hammer I recorded each note. While it was quiet, there was an occasional rustle of wind in the leaves, the whoosh of a car slowly passing, a dog’s bark echoing in the distance. While I tried to wait for quiet moments to record, I accepted some of this environmental sound as part of the ambiance of this instrument.
I sampled two velocity layers with the hammer, occasionally damping extremely detuned individual strings and I plucked each note with a plastic guitar finger pick. I also recorded several types of special effects,
The result is a quirky keyboard with a charming antique character, sometimes ghostly, sometimes exotic, even sometimes menacing. Here is the last song of this beautiful instrument that was new when the Titanic set sail, played the songs of the 1st and 2nd World Wars and continued to make music throughout a century and more.
Plucked Improvisation No.1
Natural pitches (2 velocity layers)
Tuned (2 velocity layers)
Plucked (1 layer, guitar pick)
- Tremolo (4 ranges, looped)
- Stereo Mass Tremolo (3 layers in each of 3 ranges, looped)
- Glissando Down (fast and slow, 3 ranges)
- Glissando Up (fast and slow, 3 ranges)
- Cluster hits (single loud hit with side of hammer, 6 samples)
- Glissando wash (6 ranges, looped)
- Pick tremolo (tight & quick, 4 ranges, looped)
All samples 24 bit/48 Khz
File size 274 Mb
Requires NI Kontakt 5+ (Player or full version)