Old piano, solenoids, magnets, custom electronics, Arduino

The artwork consists of an old upright piano presented with visible strings, mechanics and detached parts. The instrument has been prepared with an hidden electromagnetic system controlled by a computer which moves its keys and vibrates its strings by following real-time environmental data of air quality and pollution.

A piano represents a massive element with a powerful yet subtle sound. Despite its solidity, it is very fragile and subject to the aging process caused by time and environmental conditions. The instrument used in this installation is an old piano from the beginning of 19th century. It has not been maintained for many decades, therefore has become an unusable object abandoned to itself. As soon as it starts playing, it dramatically reveals its state of deterioration. Its sounds are inharmonic, crackling and unpredictable, similar to the underwater sound of glaciers. This piano is in a slow but continuous state of deterioration and transformation as is the melting ice of our planet.

»ICEBERG-1410« wants to be a representation of changes, absence of control, disharmony, abandonment. A dramatic metaphor of human impact on our planet.

Ardia | L’Abbate, 2022


Funded by Musikfonds e.V. by means of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR recovery programme.