Preparations iiPreparations ii

Preparations ii

February 13, 2023


23 artists make a ‘preparation’ each for a grand piano. Three sets of musicians are then tasked with constructing individual live performances with the adaptable unit of preparations.

→ for a more detailed rundown of the concept click here


The second Late Works: Preparations took place once more at Cafe OTO on the same Yamaha C3 grand piano, carrying over the same limitations from the first iteration. More focus was put on using as wide a range of materials as possible in the creation of the preparations.

In contrast to the first, one of the groups was selected as a duo, with Ed Bernez focusing on percussive elements in the body, and Ted Mair focusing on the keys and pedals.

The musicians also only had one hour practice with the preparations instead of the intended three hours. Another alteration made to the night is that all 23 sculptures remain inside the piano throughout, where they used to be on display before the first performance.


Musicians: Finn Carter, Dear Laika, Ted Mair & Ed Bernez

Artists: Ryoko Akama, Zoë Annesley, Jasper Appleby Sherring, Grace Black, Joseph Bradley Hill, Yasmine Brennan, Kara Chin, Gabriele Ciulli, Jacob Clayton, Leo DMB, enorê, Georgia Gendall, Harley Kuyck-Cohen, Kiran Leonard, Ruoru Mou, Siân Newlove-Drew, Karanjit Panesar, Lou Lou Sainsbury & Gabi Dao, Harry Smithson, Aga Ujma, Jake Vine, Tiffany Wellington & Isobel Whalley Payne

Concept, curation, design and filming: Joseph Bradley Hill • Sound Engineer: Kevin Shoemaker • Photographer: Luna Wang

Special thanks to Fielding, James & Midori!

→ click here to jump to the collaborators section at the bottom
Dear Laika - Small vessel in sea green

Performance One:

Dear Laika - Small vessel in sea green

Dear Laika - Small vessel in sea green

For the performance, Isabelle began by using Aga Ujma’s a midwinter night's dream (a silver aluminium wiry net of bells) as a shaken percussion instrument and Leo DMB’s waste i saw lorelei to as a mallet to hit the lower strings of the piano. The lower half of the piano was heavily prepared with Georgia Gendall’s Tapestry of Breath (a vacuum packed Ryvita with toothpaste, tic tacs and broken spaghetti), Kara Chin’s Shopping List (a large photo-covered, raisin box-filled, tentacled object), Harry Smithson’s Pothole to Aven (wrapped in Isobel Whalley Payne’s handkerchief) & Jasper Appleby-Sherring’s Praise (cavolo nero) (a bronze cast of kale atop a wooden and metal plate with locator bolts) all sat along one set of strings.

Near the end of the performance Isabelle used Karanjit Panesar’s Small vessel in sea green as a slide against certain strings, bifurcating them so each one would play two separate pitches on either side of the pot, reaching a sound halfway between that of a slide guitar and ondes martenot/theremin.

Sian Newlove-Drew’s Physics Angel was deemed too perishable to sit inside the piano itself, so for all three performances the glow-in-the-dark candle angel resided on the outer ledge of the piano, looking out at the audience.

Ted Mair & Ed Bernez - Pursuit across a landscape old/new

Performance Two:

Ted Mair & Ed Bernez - Pursuit across a landscape old/new

Ted Mair & Ed Bernez - Pursuit across a landscape old/new

Ted & Ed were the most physically active with the preparations of the three performances, as Ed was able to roam around the piano using the objects percussively whilst Ted played the keys. Ed began his interactions with the sculptures by using Jacob Clayton’s Fishing magnet to put inside a piano, plucking the lowest strings with the plastic keyring element of the work. He then moved onto shuffling Yasmine Brennan’s My Albion?? and Karanjit Panesar’s Small vessel in sea green on the same set of strings, which were densely occupied by Aga Ujma, Georgia Gendall, Joseph Bradley Hill, Gabriele Ciulli & Leo DMB’s works. As the piece progresses he moves round to the belly of the piano, rearranging many of the objects closer to the centre strings, including Grace Black’s Conical Side Effect.

In the later stages of the performance, Ed relied heavily on Leo DMB’s waste i saw lorelei to to strum the strings with the clay tipped metal comb prongs, as well as using Karanjit Panesar’s ceramic pot to create a slide effect.

Finn Carter - untitled

Performance Three:

Finn Carter - untitled

Finn Carter - untitled

For the preparation of the piano, Finn decided to leave the preparations untouched during his performance of the piece, with the sculptures positioned as follows:

Yasmine Brennan’s My Albion?? was draped over the cast iron frame in the centre, next to Isobel Whalley Payne’s Untitled clover handkerchief which was weaved between the strings. Joseph Bradley Hill’s Jerry (an old oil can with ballbearings inside and a cloth coated wooden wedge protruding from the underside) sat on the iron frame closer to the keys, accompanied by Harley Kuyck-Cohen’s Demerara, Coffee, Tobacco (a carved wooden cat with a rotating head and beeswax eyes). Moving further up the piano, the arms of Jake Vine’s Mermaid’s Purse (a leather pouch with ceramic buttons inside) were fed in-between the strings, followed only by Gabriele Ciulli’s M & Ruoru Mou’s Scratch - Ciulli’s engraved brake pad dulled the strings with its weight, with Mou’s elongated ceramic hand causing a light resonance. Grace Black’s Conical Side Effect (a metal cone with a connected battery compartment that causes an LED to flash if the compartment is jolted) protruding behind them accompanied by Jacob Clayton’s Fishing magnet to put inside a piano, which stuck firmly to the frame, leaving the plastic keyring attached to the magnet to dangle on the strings and be moved by the vibrations.

made for this Preparations on a poster

Artwork Titles:

1. Ryoko Akama - Untitled, 2023
2. Zoë Annesley - Untitled, 2023
glass, epoxy putty, electrical components, LED lights
3. Jasper Appleby Sherring - Praise (cavolo nero), 2023
bronze, found metal, cherry bark, galvanised wire, nuts and bolts
4. Grace Black - Conical Side Effect, 2023
aluminium, rivets, blue LEDs, Tupperware, 9V battery, spring, baring, copper wire, single core electrical file
5. Joseph Bradley Hill - Jerry, 2023
Wesco oil can, blind ball bearings, wood, cable ties, impregnated cloth
6. Yasmine Brennan - My Albion??, 2023
37 beads x 35 & Glass beads, mother of pearl, cotton, stones and tooth floss
7. Kara Chin - Shopping List, 2023
Mixed media
8. Gabriele Ciulli - M, 2023
engraved brake pad
9. Jacob Clayton - Fishing magnet to put inside a piano, 2023
fishing magnet with attached plastic keyring
10. Leo DMB - waste I saw lorelei to, 2023
retrieved drum stick, milliput, paint comb, resin, pewter, found object, beads
11. enorê - untitled, 2023
fired stoneware ceramic
12. Georgia Gendall - Tapestry of Breath, 2023
Vacuum packed Ryvita, toothpaste, spaghetti, Tic Tacs
13. Harley Kuyck-Cohen - Demerara, Coffee, Tobacco, 2023
polychromed wood, beeswax

14. Kiran Leonard - Please, Don't Play Too Hard! Please! I'm Alive!, 2023
cardboard, aluminium, needles, cotton bud ends, cellotape
15. Ruoru Mou - Scratch, 2023
glazed ceramic
16. Siân Newlove-Drew - Physics Angel, 2023
candle, glitter, ribbon, bead, cubic zirconia, glow in the dark ink-jet shrink paper
17. Karanjit Panesar - Small vessel in sea green, 2023
glazed stoneware
18. Lou Lou Sainsbury & Gabi Dao - Fowelley’s Scent, 2023
perfume and atomizer bottle
19. Harry Smithson - Pothole to Aven, 2023
20. Aga Ujma - a midwinter night's dream, 2023
bells, acrylic beads, silver aluminium wires
21. Jake Vine - Mermaid’s Purse, 2023
veg tan leather, linen thread, brass and ceramic buttons
22. Tiffany Wellington - A Shamrock, 2023
enamel pin
23. Isobel Whalley Payne - Untitled, 2023
handkerchief, plastic Sale cubes