Preparing a Piano using feedback from the environment to create a composition in the spirit of John Cage for the Black Mountain College {Re} Happening 2013.



Artistic Intent

My name is Michael Luchtan, I am a 34 year old American Composer.  I am creating a prepared piano piece for the Black Mountain College {Re}Happening 2013.  During it’s existence, Black Mountain College hosted many influential thinkers, teachers, and students, one of which was the avant garde composer John Cage.  Many of his works were focused on pushing the limits of modern compositional language, and pieces like his Sonatas and Interludes  have the performer to ‘prepare’ the piano, inserting pieces of metal and plastic between the string, requiring them to treat the piano in a non-standard way.

As a contributer to the Black Mountain College {Re}Happening, I am planning on installing the gutted harp of a piano on a floating dock on Lake Eden, in the heart of the old Black Mountain College Campus, and further preparing it over the course of the evening by incorparating feedback from the surrounding environment.  I also plan on installing an information panel explaining the specifics of the evening for the attendees.


The piano can be seen as a ready labratory for experiments in sound.  In preparing the Lake Eden piano, I will divide the sound spectrum using input from the evenings environment.  After the instrument has been “tuned” to Lake Eden, the prepared piano will become, at least for the evening, an interactive sonic sculpture.