Documentation of Repaired Piano
Connor Clinch & Nathan Mathews
Video (Mixed Media : W.W. Kimball. Co. Upright Piano, 2 P.A.s, 4 Speakers, 9 Microphones, 6 Stands, and 15 Misc. Alarms)
I was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. I am in pursuit of a B.F.A. with a concentration in printmaking and sculpture. These focuses, however, do not bar me from exploring other mediums. My work varies from manipulated ready-mades, to humorous thought prints, to sound art, to poster design, to the occasional performance piece. Most project ideas are generated in response to the history of art and the theories and practices that have been implemented by my predecessors.
John Cage wrote 4’33” as a complete selfless piece in order to remove the composer’s bias from the work. It is a misconception that 4’33” is a “silent” composition. The intent is for the audience to focus on the indeterminate natural sounds that occur by chance during the performance. Cage used the social construct of a concert piece as a format to allow the listener to elevate naturally occurring sounds to the same level as a composed piece.
However, 4’33” often does not evoke this response or understanding from many listeners anymore. Since its acceptance into the canon, many audience members who are familiar with the work no longer allow themselves to participate with the piece as intended. Rather than focusing on the naturally occurring sounds during the performance, many simply wait for the ending of the piece, diluting its original intent. This perversion of the work has shifted the focus away from these sounds within the performance to the anticipation of its ending. The time frame has transformed from something to exist in to the marking of a countdown.
This piece is a response to the change of perception of the original work. The Repaired Piano is the manifestation of the tension created when 4’33” is experienced as a countdown.