Monday, 13 July 2009


We are collating all of the audio recorded from the different locations and pianos in preparation for the next two weeks when we will be composing the final piece.

We will be performing 'Equal Temperance' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on July 31st.


29. Devonshire Square Estate

Devonshire Sq. Estate.
Unknown piano.
A huge bodied piano, very loud, lots of deep bass, overstrung.
The Estate security guards let us in on a sunday which was very kind of them indeed.

28. Liverpool Street Station

Liverpool Street Station.
Ferd Manthey; Berlin, Production began in 1868, Production ceased in 1986.
First German piano we'd encountered. Very bad condition, not great tone (unusual for German pianos). Friendly lady asked if she could play after us; she had just given her piano to a friend.

27. Middlesex Street Estate

Middlesex Street Estate.
OSBERT, unknown history.
In a great setting for sensitive outdoor playing, placed in the middle of the estate courtyard giving a really nice acoustic.
Lovely tone.

26. London Wall

London Wall.
John Brinsmead & Sons, London. Production began in 1837.
After 1974 made by the Kemble Group Ltd., Milton Keynes.

Painted like Michael Jackson's jacket in Thriller video.
Very beaten keyboard with many silent notes.
Car passed by with HUGE bass. Paid Tribute.

25. Royal Exchange

Royal Exchange.
Unknown piano.
Quite honky-tonk, very noisy amongst traffic but good for car horns and seagulls.
A Mexican family played before us and had a lot of fun.

24. St Bride's Church

St Bride's Church.
Kawai, Production began 1927, Japan.
By far the best sound out of all the pianos, a gorgeously tuned and kept grand piano situated in the main hall of the church. The church had beautiful natural reverb and the priest was very kind to let us play for a while on what was clearly a busy day amongst string trios, organ practices and wedding rehearsals. An inspiring setting.

23. Old Jewry

Old Jewry.
Unknown piano.
Baby grand in a bar in the city. Manager swept in on us and said we couldn't play the 3 notes we needed as our timing was off.
Lounge pianist took over instead.We got our recording - come hail or high weather.

22. St Mary Aldemary

St Mary Aldemary.
C. G. Cannon, unknown history.
A beautiful church set back from Bow Lane, partially out of tune piano but the setting made up for it.
Met a nice woman called Katherine who was also doing the circuit.

21. St Mary-Le-Bow

St Mary-Le-Bow.
Normelle, London, Production began in 1927.
Arrived as the Bow bells were chiming at lunch, great atmosphere, old and rusty inside but a good sound.
Two classical string players were waiting to play a duet when we finished.

20. Millenium Bridge

W. Danemann & Co London England, Production began in 1893. Merged with Broadwood and Sons 1983, Since 1990 made by Sonore Ede, Holland,
We arrived to Fantasia in D Minor by Mozart played by the man in the top picture, lots of interest in piano but it wasn't in great condition.

19. St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral.
W.H. Barnes, 502-4 Oxford st, production began 1828, production ceased 1937.
Big queues to play this one, garden grounds setting with sound of cathedral bells.

18. Paternoster Square

Paternoster Square.
Danemann, production started 1893, merged with Broadwood and Sons 1983, since 1990 made by Sonore,
Initial problem getting permission to record, hard attack, good tone in mid-high range.
Huge PA system kicked in while playing so ended prematurely.

17. Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market.
B. Squire and Longson, "The Cremona Piano" London, Squire - production began in 1829.
This was a great piano for atmosphere.

16. City Hall

City Hall.
Baldwin, production started 1862,
Teachers demonstration outside, interesting acoustics due to the spiral centre of the building, beautiful brand new piano in immaculate condition. We were unfortunately cut short as the sound was interrupting a meeting. We'd have loved to have had more time on this one and the security guards were wholesome.

15. St Mary Axe

St Mary Axe.
C. Venables & Co. (dealership), Essex Rd., unknown history.
In very bad condition but a good resonance and big bottom end helped by being open backed.
Lots of passing conversations rushing around the City on mobile phones

14. Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market.
D'Almaine, "Evans Vintage Upright Grand Piano" English patent no. 3026/1935 (made by W.H. Barnes Ltd, 502-504 Oxford St.), production started 1828, production ceased 1937.
This piano had an interesting sound but was in poor condition. The arched ceiling of Leadenhall Market provided a great acoustic alongside people dining.
We had a very nice conversation with a man called Willy afterwards.

13. Camberwell Green

Camberwell Green.
Brasstead 'Grand piano', unknown history,
The piano keyboard was water damaged from rain; expanded keys had clumped together making it impossible to play single notes. We took the bottom panel off and played the strings. A friendly man with clarinet approached us, many comments from passers by. A welcome atmosphere.

12. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum.
Unknown piano.
Out of kilter, school trips enjoyed hearing and trying.
After we had finished, this boy sat down and played a piece perfectly from his grade book.