Bluthner Style 6 #90513
The old family piano. It comes to me now after the passing of my mother on March 16th 2020. She was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease (ALS) 6 months earlier. On that night she is in her bed, unable to speak, struggling for air. A ventilator, pressing oxygen to her failing lungs, hisses and puffs. Its soft timely heaving, devastatingly peaceful. The Piano is right next to her and I want to play something for her but somehow I just can’t.
Later I wish I had given myself to that.
This 1913 piano is also showing its age. It has a cracked frame but still holds it’s tuning. In the months after her passing the idea of sampling this piano begins to obsess in me. I want to remember its sound long after it is gone. It is only later that I realise, this is my catharsis.
This version is the MVP (4.4gb of samples). Samples for every 3rd note in five velocity layers, pedal up and pedal down and all of it again with the damper pedal engaged. There are two mic positions utilising three mics each. A full deep sampled version with samples for every note (13gb of samples) is available at www.store.phonographic.co.za
Outside (far left on the mic dial) was recorded with two PDA 4001’s for wide stereo and an SE3300 for mono fill placed just above the keyboard almost inside the hammers with the keyboard lid removed. This is an attempt to try capture the sound of the piano as I remember it.
Inside (far right on the mic dial) was receded with two AKG C414’s in XY with a The TUL F47 is modelled on the Neumann U47 FET built by Tully McCullagh in Cape Town as mono fill. The inside mics have a much closer stereo field but a beautiful clear attack which compliments the outside array.
I have given myself completely to this project from recording, to scripting, to graphic design. I came into this with zero KSP scripting knowledge and with the help of various forums, an online course and the vibrant community of Pianobook I have created something that I am very fond of.
This is also a very different project as it comes with some audio that is very painful for me to hear and might be a bit triggering for many of you especially after Covid 19. If this resonates with you, make a recording and send it to me, I’d love to hear it.
Go to www.phonographic.co.za/bluthner to submit your track. I may publish them to my site if there if enough response.
I would love this to be a digital memorial not only to my mother, but also to that person in your life. I hope it helps.
Note that this library has two instruments, for reasons that will become clear. The instrument labelled “Memorial” is what this whole project has been about and I hope you can resonate with it.
Special thanks must go to the following people:
– My wife Tania and my kids Eli and Noa for bearing with me for the last seven months.
– Murray Anderson at Milestone Studios for recording advice.
– Matt Gair for loaning me his TUL F47.
– Aki from Eastern Acoustics for a good price on mic rentals.
– Dave Hilowitz for some advice early on.
– My father for buying the piano when we were kids.
– And finally to my mother Lali Vossgatter who gave us everything, this is for you.
Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!
A piano made for those reflective moments. Thank you.
Deeply emotive. Thank you
Just wonderful, full of openess and honesty.
Brought me to tears
It’s solemn, raw and beautiful..
It commands me to make every piece of music it could appear on a little bit better than what i would consider satisfying. To try a little bit harder to crystalize what i hear, or else not use it out of respect.
A precious gift
Amazing piano and story behind it.
It is one of the best pianos I’ve played not only here but on a whole. It is so kind of you to share this with the world. And the story made the first play so sentimental. Thank you for this.
Impactado por la dulzura de este instrumento maravilloso