Accoutrements Parts 1 & 2 involves player piano music rolls. Having grown up with a player piano in my home, I’ve always been drawn to the process by which player piano works. A music roll is made out of paper with punched holes which correspond to the notes of an 88-key piano. Powered by the its internal mechanical gears, pneumatics, and tracker bar, the keys of the piano are automatically depressed and the hammers hit the strings produce sound from the piano. In 2002 Buffalo was home to the last commercial producers of player piano music rolls, QRS Music (not an abbreviation).
For the six months I have been typed, printed, drew, cut-up and composed onto blank piano rolls, then running them through a player piano and recorded the results on video. With the advent of the high-speed cable modems, the Internet has become a powerful tool in publishing texts and streaming video for people to access. Besides archiving past work on-line, I’ve been cataloguing a database of images, sounds, and texts from this project.
Like Dialogues of Early Sound Film (1997) Accoutrements references to film cliches of the silent era but also regards the player piano as an artifact where techno-science and popular culture intersect. The player piano in a way is the precursor to consumer demand for an interactive home entertainment system.