Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Piano

The Piano

(Click on Pictures for to Enlarge)

The Piano by Jerry wennstrom
Video by Carol Wright

The Piano began as an old Kemble baby grand piano that was given to me by friend Judith Adams. I gutted the piano and cut it down to create a smaller inside compartment. I then flipped it on its side so the keyboard runs vertically.

The entire piece stands 8 feet tall and is 24 inches wide and deep. There is a 5-foot carved cedar figure inside. The face of the figure can be seen through the round window cut in the door of the piece. The piano’s original hammers have been dyed and painted and now adorn the top. There are lights and many brass and copper adornments as well.

The original pedal mechanism from the piano has been mounted at the bottom; acting as one of two legs the piece stands on. The second leg (behind) is one of the original piano legs.

Pressing one of the two foot pedals turns the figure’s head. On the back of the head is a small, rounded double door. Behind the door is a skull, carved into the inside wood of the head.

The second foot pedal activates the hands. When the pedal is pressed the hands open
slowly (like a book.) Stamped into the copper plates, mounted on the palms of the hands is a poem:

gutted and hammered
the piano stands mute

paradox nailed shut

dead weight waiting

widows walk
and pray
without a peep

Can’t dance? Buzz God!

…and, the sculpture offers a way to Buzz God! Four of the ivory piano keys have brass plates with words stamped into them. The first key says, “Off Key” the second, “Buzz God,” the third, “Sound of Silence,” and the fourth, “One Hand Clapping.” Pushing the “Buzz God” key activates a loud buzzer.

Piano Keyboard with Option to "Buzz God"

Face of Inner Figure

Top with Hammers



Head - Inner figure

5-ft Tall Inside Figure

Inner Figure

Inner Figure and Keyboad

Dyed and Painted Piano Hammers Adorning Top

Feet and light of Inner figure

Hidden Compartment on Back of Head

Skull at back of Head Seen Through Doors Opening

Hands Closed

Hands Beginning to Open

Open Hands Present the Poem:

hammered and gutted
the piano stands mute

paradox nailed shut

dead weight waiting

widows walk
and pray
without a peep

Can't dance? Buzz God

Foot Pedals that Turn Head and Open Hands

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