07. October 2006

Kunsthalle Krems Parkplatz

Piano Airlift Gordon Monahan



“Piano Airlift” is about pianos and landscapes, about air, sound and the spatial delocalisation of instruments. Monahan treats his piano like a symbol for music, sound, culture, style and atmosphere, like a machine, commanding respect, fear and beauty from the actors and the audience. In the name of art, pianos have been cut up, squeezed through holes, buried, set on fire and disassembled.


In 1984, Gordon Monahan together with Thaddeus Holownia started a series of aeolic works. In 1988 they created a “long Aeolian piano”, the Aeolian harp, for the St John sound symposium in Newfoundland. A piano was transported to the top of the Gibbet’s Hill by helicopter. It served as a kind of sound box for long piano chords, stretched over the cliffs of the hill. During the two-week installation, the chords resonated stridently in the wind. At the end, the piano was thrown over the cliffs and shattered into a thousand pieces.


In his current compositions Gordon Monahan uses midi file editing; the pieces are played on a midi-driven piano. The compositions refer to geographical landscapes and to the metaphoric meaning of linear timescapes. The tones draw a time-based landscape in sound and space. Recorded on a real piano as playback, this music accompanies the video on the helicopter transport of the “Aeolian” piano to the hill in Newfoundland, which took place a long time ago.

A project by Klangraum Krems in cooperation with Factory and AIR Krems

Kindly supported by:

© Gordon Monahan

© Gordon Monahan