A lot of pianos...    4 November 2010, 19.30

There are a lot of pianos in Markson Pianos, more than 40.  All sorts ranging from luxurious grand pianos to basic domestic uprights.  

Seven composers and artists have each composed a work for multiple pianos to be performed by a large ensemble of pianists in the piano shop over the course of the evening of 4th November, a unique opportunity to explore the possibilities of a large number of pianos.

A musical vocabulary based around multiples of the same instrument is unusual, especially in the case of the piano, an instrument which is central within the Western classical music tradition.  This event explores both within and without that tradition, connecting with other experiences -
systems theory, group rhythmic structures (such as the musics of Ghana and Indonesia), indeterminacy, bellringing - music that has a different history of organisation, structure and experiment.  A musical hybrid, something that wouldn't normally happen.

The number of pianos and players means that there is physically very little space left in the shop for much of an audience so the event has been recorded for eventual broadcast on Resonance FM and will be available as a download.

David Cunningham

Special thanks to Stephanie Romig who organised this event as part of the centenary of Markson Pianos, to Simon Markson, Jean-Raphael Dedieu, Alberto Sanchez Nué, Peter Scott and the video crew and in particular all the pianists and composers who contributed significant time and effort to this project.
interior, Markson Pianos
photo - Rie Nakajima


Leo Chadburn
Rie Nakajima
Daniel Jackson
Cerith Wyn Evans
Mieko Shimizu
Genevieve Murphy
David Cunningham

Leo Chadburn is a composer and performer from London, whose music includes scores for installation art, the theatre and three albums under the name 'Simon Bookish', the most recent of which was Everything/Everything, a big band song cycle about science and information.

Rie Nakajima is an artist working with installations and performances that produce sound.  Her works are most often composed in direct response to unique architectural spaces using a combination of audio materials and found objects.

Daniel Jackson works with computer code, writing software to make gestural actions manifested as drawings, animations, sound works and paintings. He has exhibited widely, notably Seccession, Vienna, 1998; Buerofriedrich, Berlin, 2000; Jerwood Gallery, London, 2000; Freud Museum, London, 2004, Apt Draschan, Vienna, 2007.

Cerith Wyn Evans' work incorporates a wide range of media, including installation works, sculptures, photography, film and text.  Since the 1990s, his work could be characterised by its focus on language and perception, as well as a precise, conceptual clarity that is often developed out of the context of the exhibition site or its history.

Mieko Shimizu began performing as a singer and pianist with her own band and subsequently scored numerous Manga animated feature films. Now living in London she regularly composes for film and television, most recently producing music for performances at Barbican, Royal Opera House, London Roundhouse  and Liverpool Everyman.

Genevieve Murphy
is studying composition in her final year at Birmingham Conservatoire. She composes using electronics and live instruments, working with many artists and musicians. Various plans for the year include composing for BCMG, writing for her own ensembles, and touring with Martin Creed's band and ballet (Work 1020).

David Cunningham is a record producer and musician who has worked with with an eclectic range of people and music which has included The Flying Lizards, Palais Schaumburg and Michael Nyman amongst many others.  His installation works in art galleries magnify the sound of a room, a music delineated by the architectural characteristics of the space and modulated by the transient nature of people passing through.

interior, Markson Pianos
photo - Rie Nakajima

Markson Pianos
5 - 8 Chester Court, Albany Street
London NW1 4BU

020 7935 8682