Blue Touch – Of Broken Trees and Elephant Ivories

Solo works for piano and electronics inspired by the narrative of the colonial piano in Australia
Works by Elena Kats Chernin, Luke Harrald, David Harris, Cathy Milliken, Jon Rose, James Rushford

Pianist Gabriella Smart
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The colonial pianos chosen for Of Broken Trees and Elephant Ivories offer a kaleidoscopic view of Australia’s history including famous artists, Afghan cameleers, Aboriginal genocide, and morse code. The chosen pianos still exist in various locations around Australia, and their cultural and historical narratives have inspired new works by Australian and German composers. Smart commissioned composers from Australia and Germany to write new works inspired by the narratives of seven colonial pianos still extant in various parts of the country. They belonged to famous artists such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Percy Grainger and Hans Heysen, or contained intriguing narratives, such as the first piano to arrive in Alice Springs on the back of a camel from Oodnadata.