I discovered Ross and the ruined pianos from the video post below (thanks to Everyday Listening):
the excerpt about Ross occurs at 3'30". once again it caught my eye because of the interplay between sound, music-making and site - the 'landscape' of the music-making object and its subjectiveness to time and environment. how this music-making is truly linked to the physical context it appears in - the extent and possibilities provided by nature's tunings and the responsiveness of the improviser to this. unique music-making from unique materials.
Each Ruined Piano is utterly unique with respect to action and tuning (if we can talk of tuning at all). An F# one and a half octaves above middle C on a West Australian Ruined Piano in a semi-desert environment differs radically from the same note on a flooded piano in a studio four floors below pavement level in Prague.
A Ruined Piano has its frame and cabinet more or less intact, (even though the soundboard is cracked wide open, with the blue sky shining through) so that it can be played in the ordinary way. By contrast, a Devastated Piano is usually played in a crouched or lying position.
A piano judiciously left in the open and exposed to all weathers will ruin. All that fine nineteenth-century European craftmanship, all the damp and unrequited loves of Schumann, Brahms and Chopin dry out, degrading to a heap of rotten wood and rusting wire. The piano returns to aboriginality, goes back to the earth where the chirrup of its loose wires blown about by the desert Easterly is almost indistinguishable from the cicadas’ long electric blurt.
However, it’s not necessary (or desirable) to burn, drown or bury a piano in order to ruin it. A Ruined Piano should ideally be an object trouvé – and be played as found.
ROSS BOLLETER from The Well Weathered Piano (WARPS Publications, 2005) as cited on Modisti
an excerpt from the album is found on the above link - i am getting this album! beautiful sounds.