The inner hapr of a grand piano suspended on a black background, with copper wires coiling out from it.

Hugo Solis | Metaphors for Dead Pianos

January 29 – April 2, 2010

“The effect is both startling and magical — a bit like being shut in a dim room with two temperamental piano ghosts.”
Seattle Times

“Metaphors for Dead Pianos reincarnates the piano’s opulent possibilities inside two ugly, gutted instruments.”
The Stranger

Metaphors for Dead Pianos (Metáforas para Pianos Muertos) is a set of interactive sonic sculptures built by dismembering acoustic pianos that previous owners have thrown away. The poetical goal is to revive the instruments using a contemporary sonic perspective. The pianos are extended with custom electronic circuits, custom software, microcontrollers, sensors, motors, and solenoids.

Using the sensors, a small computer registers and analyzes audience behaviors, generating the materials that the piano bodies reproduce with the solenoids and motors. The result is a modulation between audience interaction and the spectral analysis of the “Well Tempered Clavier” by J. S. Bach.

Metaphors for Dead Pianos III uses one grand piano and one suspended grand piano frame. The characteristic of this third version is the confrontation between two objects of different visual and acoustic properties.

This work is sponsored in part by the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington (DXARTS) and a grant of the program Jóvenes Creadores by the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes from Mexico.


Hugo Solis

Hugo Solís García is a Sound Artist. His main field is the creation of interactive sonic works. His work has been shown or performed on national and international…


Sound Clips

  • Jack Straw New Media Gallery Interview: Hugo Solis Hugo Solis