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The Piano Mill, 9780994396600

The Piano Mill


Publisher: Uro Publications 2018 Authors: Bruce Wolfe, Jocelyn Wolfe, Erik Griswold, and Vanessa Tomlinson ISBN: 9780994396600 Format: Paperback, 96pp, 240mm x 225mm

Situated in the remote highlands between Stanthorpe and Tenterfield, The Piano Mill is a unique architectural feature, homage to the musical history of outback Australia, and outrageous musical instrument all in one. The Piano Mill was recognised as the winner of the 2018 World Architecture Festival, culture category.

A nine-metre high raised tower, accessed by a hole through the centre, the internal structure is made of timber while the external walls are clad in copper. External shutters can be manually manipulated to create air flow and modulate the sound effects of the 16 pianos set against the external walls, split across the first floor and mezzanine level. With the instruments and musicians set inside, the audience are arranged outside, given a view of the inner mechanism through translucent windows. This mechanism, one instrument made up of 16, is another element of the building, at once architectural, historical, and ingenious.  

This new book of photos and essays tells the stories behind The Mill’s creation, with personal insights from the team of people involved in bringing it to life. The collaboration of architect Bruce Wolfe, researcher Jocelyn Wolfe, musicians Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson, The Piano Mill is a nationally awarded building for both music and architecture.

In 2016, the building was brought to life with the world premiere of ‘All’s Grist that Comes to the Mill’. The 50-minute work, commissioned from Australian composer Erik Griswold, employs the 16 vintage pianos that power The Mill, incorporating mass sound textures that respond to the architecture, nature-inspired soundscapes, and nostalgic fragments.

Yet, The Piano Mill is more than a one-off concert venue. It is an on-going project of artistic and cultural synthesis, bringing music, design, environment and history together as a unique collaborative project.

What others think...

"The Piano Mill also explores the complexity of music performance in curious and wonderful ways..." - ArchitectureAU

"Since the launch last year, the Piano Mill has occupied such a place in a growing community of people. It's grown to be a place brimming with an inner life and evoking any number of levels of sensual engagement, becoming a home of place-inspired music and art." - Resonate Magazine

The Piano Mill - winner of 2018 World Architecture Festival culture category

Listen to The Road to the Piano Mill on ABC Classic FM

Follow The Piano Mill on Facebook

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