Bristol Jam festival has been going on recently with an exciting line-up of improvised acts and workshops curated by QuJunktions working with Bristol Old Vic theatre. The one event that I managed to get to was Hauschka`s prepared piano talk. He was so nice and said some really great things...something about how we musicians tend to roam old habits, the things that we know work for us and are safe. We do this especially during live performances when we don`t want to mess up in front of lots of people. He found putting bits in the piano threw him off his old tracks and he totally welcomed this. And he said that in his experience audiences really enjoy it when you step away from what`s safe and you take risks in front of them.
He had all sorts in the piano. The aluminum candle holders and piano tuning rods are things I want to try in my upright at home. The components from vibrators made some amazing drones. He told us how he was held up at USA customs and quizzed on his suitcase of vibrators! Luckily they believed him when he explained "but I`m a musician".
Good old Hauschka. What a lovely and inspiring fellow he is. Here`s a short snippet of his impromptu performance that he did after a talk much longer than scheduled, and below is a photo of the pile of tools he`s excavated from the piano during the performance.