In my teenage years, I played harpsichord and organ alongside piano. Today this passion for other keyboard instruments manifests in performances on the toy piano and Carrillo 96-tone piano.
Toy Piano’s have been around for more than a 100 years but it’s only in the last 30 years or so that they are regularly featuring in the contemporary music scenes. I currently have 2 toy pianos, a 30 key instrument and a Schoenhut 37 Deluxe instrument.
Duo Kolthof/Veinberg held a Call for Scores for works combining toypiano and flute. We received many interesting works, including wonderful new pieces by Erik Griswold and Ruud Roelofsen. We look forward to premiering these in 2015.
Other performances include ‘Sol’ by Victor Trescali Sanz and ‘Gymel’ by Ole Buck for recorder and spinet (arranged for toypiano) and Vanessa Lann’s “Is a Bell... a Bell?”, which you can view below.
One octave-97 keys. That’s right!
This unique instrument looks very much like a normal upright piano except it has an extra 9 keys and the pitch range is just one octave. Every key goes up by 1/16th of a tone in place of ½ a tone.
I am very fortunate to have access to this instrument through the Huygens-Fokker Foundation during the Ensemble Scala projects. Aside from it’s microtonal proporties, the sound of this instrument is shaped by the numerous vibrating strings at similar frequencies when the pedal is used.