Video birds playing the piano: Kathy Hinde at TEDGlobal 2012

Posted by: Helen Walters

It’s really difficult to describe Kathy Hinde‘s work in any kind of elegant or simple way. Saying that she mixes live video and audio doesn’t really cover it. At the moment, she is on the TEDGlobal stage, projecting video of birds onto the inside of an old upright piano. It’s as weird as it sounds … Essentially, she found a broken piano that was going to be discarded. She stripped it and then she hung it up as a screen on which to project video. It’s rigged, mechanically, so that if a bird is projected on a string, that string will play a note. So, by projecting a video of birds on the piano, she can play a tune.

It’s all odd and baffling and utterly compelling. She also takes John Cage’s “prepared piano” technique to change tones with coins and bolts. And she projects different videos using live controls to change the speed and selection of those videos. The audience is rapt.

Watch her talk from TEDxAldeburgh >>

Photos: James Duncan Davidson