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A Short History of the Piano Label

The Piano label was started in 1976 by David Cunningham, initially to provide an outlet for 'Grey Scale', his first album of experimental systems music. The initial success of this release led to a continuing series of projects, some appearing as Piano releases, others (in response to the challenge of storage and administration) appeared on other labels with proper distribution.

The music was focussed around what could roughly be described as hybrids and minority music, releases on Piano tended to have a relationship to the visual arts and performance. Out of the early years came the first album by This Heat, two albums by Michael Nyman (including Nyman's music for Peter Greenaway's film The Draughtsman's Contract) and the music of Cunningham's loose grouping The Flying Lizards.

Big labels change, accountants sell them to multinationals, and there's always lot of interesting stuff around to which they seem unwilling and unable to respond in ways that that are equitable to musicians and listeners. Piano has been relaunched, this time with distribution through Voiceprint thanks to Rob Ayling's offer to facilitate those parts of a record label which are tedious to the supposedly creative mind and the realisation that the label has a decent initial catalogue of old and new material by new and old but viable musicians.


piano -a complete historical discography

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