Frank Benner
piano technician

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piano stories

Meditation on Music

In a white room you can find a grand piano covered with a white cloth, on it are a few sheets of music and a mechanical toy bird.
On the walls of the room Grygar drew what he calls acoustic drawings.
The drawing consists only of linear structures.
The line is not used here to specify the volume of an object but as a time-indicating element.
The line therefore images time.
The colour of the line indicates a certain sound.
All lines are within geometric shapes; a parallelogram in this case and two triangles.
In these shapes the lines are parallel, but some are changing direction suddenly and signify a variation in sound.
Contrary to the music, the signs are not determined by certain codes we have to learn, the signs speak a direct language.
The public can determine the sound and the time.
The drawing is a visualisation of the sound.
On the sheet music the mechanical bird has drawn some dots.
The movements of the toy bird are put down on paper this way.
The 'notes' can be played on the piano but can also, when you look at them, be' listened to' directly.

Milan Grygar /1926/ Zvolenu, Tschechoslowakia / installation on Chambres d'amis Gent 1986

My dentist plays the piano

There is no name for a female Dentist or I would gladly use it.
Even when there is nothing toothingly wrong I obediently visit my dentist regularly like a good boy.
Good humouredly she pushes me in the chair.
Tips it over backwards.
Ties a bib around my neck.
Blinds me with a halogen lamp and starts her work.
She has a cheerful conversation, but does not really expect an answer, because I can not say anything with her tools sticking into my mouth.
In the background I can hear soothing music.
Fiddling between my teeth she hums along.
That means she is pleased.

When I have rinsed my mouth she tells me she likes to play the piano.
It relaxes her after a busy day in the practice.
When her fingers run over the ivory key tops, she often thinks about herself playing her patients teeth.

She often wonders if she should not treat her white piano keys, because in some places she can detect some key top tartar.

Her five-year-old daughter is a serious danger to the keyboard.
When she plays the piano she not only uses her little fingers, but also wooden blocks.
She likes the sound of it.
In one of those attacks a piece of the ivory key top has broken off in one of those attacks a piece of a key is broken.
Not a lot of damage, but enough to be reminded of, every time she plays the piano, that used to belong to her grandmother.
I know the feeling every time I go over my teeth with my tongue.

My Dentist tells me that in case of small accidents, for instance when children drop off their piano stools, bits of the tooth can break off.
Nowadays she can put a broken piece of the tooth back again.
She glues the broken bit to the remaining tooth. That often looks better than filling it with composite. Also it works quicker because the piece will fit exactly.
One has to act quickly to save a broken tooth and to prevent infections.
You have to save the bit that has broken off in a glass with your own saliva and run to a Dentist.

Nice piece of restoration work.

Henk van Faassen

Anna Enquist: The Secret and
The Pianist by Elfriede Jelinek