A few months ago, NEA published a flyer from an organisation dedicated to saving pianos from landfill. An exhibition was planned for November at the North Melbourne Meat Market for local artisans and craftspeople to design and build objects from parts of unwanted pianos.
I knew that Bill McCabe from Benalla had dismantled his old family instrument, a 1923 Beale, Australian made, and that he had a few bits left.
From Bill, I was able to source a leg, the front panel, the sheetmusic shelf, some bits if ebony and ivory keys, and some miscellaneous fittings.
I scratch built a stick dulcimer, which apart from the machine head tuners, strings and frets, was made entirely from the Beale parts, and entered it in the exhibition.
Mary and I attended the presentation night, mainly for the food and wine, and to see what others had created, so I was absolutely blown away when my name as read out as the winner in my section. …….with respect for the pianos musical heritage, to create something that gives the piano new purpose in music…
$600 prize, and a great experience. Thank you NEA.
Rodney Horsfall photographed with an admirer from California, and the winning entry
Wall to Wall Benalla Festival
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