Piano Airlift (1988/2006)

1st exhibition: Kunsthalle Krems Factory, Krems, Austria, Oct. 2006

Installation for midi piano and video projection.

In 1984, I began a series of Aeolian pieces, the first one in collaboration with Thaddeus Holownia, at his farm in Jolicure, New Brunswick, Canada. In 1988 we were invited to the Sound Symposium in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where we made a Long Aeolian Piano, airlifting a piano by helicopter to the top of Gibbet’s Hill, overlooking the harbour of St. John’s. The piano served as the soundboard for long piano strings suspended down the cliff of the hill. The strings resonated loudly from wind vibrations for a two-week-long installation.

The airlifting of the piano was an art action itself, and the takedown of the piece was another art action – when we threw the piano over the cliff to smash into pieces.

In this piece, a midi-player piano sits in the middle of the gallery, playing an accompaniment to the video of the piano being lifted by helicopter to the hill in Newfoundland.

©Gordon Monahan 1988/2006