It started out as an event that featured ever piano at the Queensland Conservatorium but now in the middle of the pandemic 84 Pianos has gone global.
It started out as an event that featured ever piano at the Queensland Conservatorium but now in the middle of the pandemic 84 Pianos has gone global.

84 Pianos will live-stream with 100 muscians taking part

IT started out as quirky music event at the Queensland Conservatorium but now 84 Pianos is going global.

From Friday at 6pm (AEST) we can all enjoy a raft of pianists from Australia and abroad playing a piece of new music by Brisbane locals Vanessa Tomlinson and Erik Griswold.

This couple has a knack for zaniness. Tomlinson is a professor and head of New Music at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and she's a percussionist who has a thing about playing toy instruments.

Her husband, Erik Griswold, who also lectures at the Queensland Conservatorium, is a pianist and composer who likes playing toy pianos and prepared piano - which means playing pianos with nuts and bolts and all sorts of other detritus stuck between the strings.

Husband and wife duo Vanessa Tomlinson and Erik Griswold
Husband and wife duo Vanessa Tomlinson and Erik Griswold

In 2017 Griswold and Tomlinson hosted the first 84 Pianos event as part of the World Science Festival Brisbane's 100 Ways To Listen program.

"The original idea was to have people playing all the pianos in the entire building, to get the walls vibrating," Griswold says.

"People could choose their own adventure and wander around and discover the pianists."

I happened to attend that event and it was fantastic with pianos tinkling away all over the Queensland Conservatorium at South Bank. Finding where the music was coming from was half the fun.

Tomlinson and Griswold love experimenting and they perform as a duo named Clocked Out. Now they have teamed up with sound artist Leah Barclay and video artist Greg Harm to present 84 Pianos - Global Pandemic Edition.

Griswold says that the original 84 pianos have now become 100 pianos and counting with pianists performing for the online event from their own homes and studios all around Australia and the world in a live audiovisual mix.

There will be a sprinkling of talent from regional Queensland with pianists joining in from Dalby, Stanthorpe, Mackay and pianist Isaac Graham from Rockhampton has signed on for the event.

Hot young Brisbane talent Alex Raineri will also be involved along with and our own Natasha Vlassenko along with Sonya Lifschitz, Michael Kieran Harvey, Anna Grinberg and a host of other known and lesser-known talents.

Rising Brisbane music star Alex Raineri will be playing for the event
Rising Brisbane music star Alex Raineri will be playing for the event

Lifschitz, an acclaimed Sydney pianist says she wanted to be involved because "it feels particularly important to support creative projects that facilitate and encourage collaboration and a strong sense of community".

Pianists will be added right up until the performance begins and there are expected to be more than 100 to listen to.

To find out more and register to listen go to clockedout.org

Originally published as Brisbane's '84 Pianos' to live-stream with 100+ muscians


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