Notes for Pianobody by Limpe Fuchs

One of my main objectives in playing music in public — on traditional or self-made instruments — is, to 'open ears'. To make the audience aware, that — more important than the visual aspect, — the human being is a listening being, especially in our modern surrounding, where it is usual to blend noises and realize them only when it seems necessary. I am in the tradition of sound scape artists, such as Murray Schaefer, who impressed me most, as well as composers like John Cage and Mauricio Kagel, who integrated everyday sounds and theatrical elements into the performance of music.

All my works — theatrical plays, concerts, workshops — are designed therefore to integrate movement — For many years I trained students to improvise music in the Rhythmikon in Munich — and have a focus on integrating noise into sound as well as showing the development of noise into sound and music. I combined environmental sound with instrumental sound in my radio plays, "den Stimmen nachhören" ("listening to voices") and "Pferd solo" ("horse solo") and especially in the production "MUUSICCIA".

This concept was first realized in my work with ANIMA in the first publication: 'Stürmischer Himmel' and I came back to it when I started publishing my solo works.

I am a professional percussionist, no pianist in the classical definition. I study classical and modern piano pieces only to keep myself informed. In Pianobody my aim was to gather recordings of different keyboards (though not electronic ones).

Track one I recorded at the conservatory in Odessa, where I was invited in 2001. Bernward, who is working in my metal shop, showed the metal discs to me. He cut a disc to close up a tube with it, and as it was a little too small; it rolled six meters through the steel tube with this very special sound. Therefore I fetched my recorder and started rolling three discs through the tube. The ring modulation was added in the studio. In Erlangen I improvised on the harmonium, which is a gift from a bass player from Erlangen and stands in my upper music atelier, while listening to my escalator recording with earphones. In Pavolding, 20 km from Peterskirchen, where I live (Bavaria) there is a big atelier (a former stable), which belonged to the late sculptor Heinrich Kirchner (died in 1984). In there stands, a very old grand piano, some strings are broken, some keys have the same tone and it has not been tuned for 30 years. Katharina Kirchner, his wife, is astonished that actually music comes out of it every time I play it. I am creating with what I have; rather then react like other 'normal' musicians that would touch the instrument and say 'it is impossible to play it'.

During my stay in Berlin, I lived in the house of the artist Margaret Raspè and tried her harpsichord. I got invited to play three concerts in Orplid Gallery in Munich; I was singing while playing, these concerts were recorded as well.

While spending 4 weeks on the Greek island Karpathos I realized that the cliffs of stone got hollowed by the water; that was rolling into them and making a noise like drumming. I combined this recording with the piano sound. This piece had originally the name Pianobody, as I used the inner body of the grand piano as well by rubbing and plucking the strings and knocking on it. When I started to name the other tracks after the locations I recorded them, I also changed the name of this track and took the name Pianobody for the whole album. The different places where the instruments were standing inspired me — and therefore I used them for titles.