Tinderbox is a collective of young people, musicians, artists and youth workers in Scotland. From grass-roots youth work to award-winning music productions, Tinderbox is building a vibrant and eclectic community of young and established creators across a programme that includes orchestral performances, music lessons and community hubs, and digital arts, creative technology & interactive media.
Pianola Nova is an interactive sculpture that links two acoustic pianos in different locations. Each piano plays the other in almost real time so as one piano plays, the other re-creates the performance – the idea being that people can perform to one another from different cities, playing live duets remotely.
It was and continues to be a work in progress – an R&D project designed and built by Tinderbox Collective, in response to a Creative Informatics Challenge Project set by Edinburgh-based sculptors Pianodrome who create new experiences from abandoned pianos.
Tinderbox worked with a varied team with expertise in multiple areas. The team included; Ted Koterwas, Sam Healy, Yann Seznec, Alasdair Anderson, Lewis MacDonald, Dominika Jackowska, Oliver Entwisle, Old School Fabrications, and led by Tinderbox Collective artists Luci Holland and Martin Disley.
Looking forward, Tinderbox continues to develop the hardware and software involved in the Pianola Novas, as they have identified some potential areas of tech that they may be able to contribute to, to help other creative technologists explore the technology involved.
The very first exhibit of this sculpture connected two cities – Edinburgh & Leeds – through a musical portal for the duration of the Leeds International Piano Competition, which ran from 4 – 19 September 2021. It was part of the Leeds Piano Trail and formed one of 10 sculptures created by the Pianodrome to coincide with the Leeds Piano Competition .
One piano was set up in Summerhall in Edinburgh, and the other in the University of Leeds Student Union. They could be played at any time, or you could book a slot to attempt a duet with an unknown musical date in the other city.
The Tinderbox team exhibited Pianola Nova as part of the 2022 CI Innovation Showcase exhibition in June.