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 and since John Cage’s 1948 Suite for Toypiano they are gradually starting to feature more and more in the contemporary music scenes. I currently have 5 toy pianos: a 30 key instrument, a Schoenhut 25 key and 37 key upright, a kawai 30 key and a rare Michelsonne 37 key 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. Other performances include ‘Sol’ by Victor Trescali Sanz, ‘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.
Currently I am working on “Secret Compartment” with composer Wilma Pistorius on a new work for toy piano. Watch this space for updates!
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.