The Vinyl Factory
An Interactive A/V Installation by TNP
The exhibition [14-21st April 2014] centred around the ‘Magnetic Resonator Piano’ [MRP], an electronically-augmented acoustic piano which uses a series of magnets combined with sensors to resonate and bend the piano’s strings, creating infinite sustain, crescendos, harmonics, pitch bends and new timbres.
The MRP was used for the first time in popular music on These New Puritans’ album Field of Reeds, and was on display for the public to experience too. Visitors engaged with the MRP via motion-sensor technology, enabling them to participate in the These New Puritans sound, creating their own individual sonic experience.
There was also a series of performances curated by Joe Daniel during the exhibition, where guests [including Charles Hayward, Mark Ronson, East India Youth, Gwilm Gold, Steve Beresford, Sampha..] were invited to play and perform with the instrument.
The MRP was invented by Andrew McPherson, Lecturer in Digital Media at Queen Mary, University of London, where he is part of the Centre for Digital Music [C4DM] in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. He is active as a composer and researcher in augmented instruments, new performance interfaces and expressive performance modeling.
The magnetic resonator piano is a hybrid acoustic-electronic instrument augmenting the traditional grand piano. Sound is produced without loudspeakers using electromagnetic actuators to directly manipulate the piano strings, expanding its vocabulary to include infinite sustain, notes that crescendo from silence, harmonics, and new timbres. A sensor on the keyboard reports the continuous position of every key. Time and spatial resolution are sufficient to capture detailed data about key press, release, pretouch, aftertouch, and other extended gestures. The system, which is designed with cost and setup constraints in mind, seeks to give pianists continuous control over the musical sound of their instrument.
Accompanying the exhibition are two brand new reworkings from the album, released as a limited edition by The Vinyl Factory.
Cannibalised and produced by Jack Barnett and Bark Psychosis using the original album alongside outtakes from the recording sessions and unused field recordings, the two-track Magnetic Field EP is a beautiful and uncanny echo of Field Of Reeds and is limited to just 500 signed and numbered copies, available to now exclusively from The Vinyl Factory online shop.
↓ Digital Magnetic Field ↓
created by ‘Lee Dyson’ this orb uses sounds of the MRP in digital form, click and play below.
“We’re really just working on instinct. It’s a big accident. But I like it when songs take unexpected twists, where things spin off into a different world. Emotions and people are unpredictable so it makes sense that the songs are I suppose. We’re really just interested in pushing beyond yourself and finding the music that’s just beyond you”
Thanks for listening / watching / playing
Jack +TNP —> George –> Tom
180 The Strand, LONDON | 14–21st April 2014