Andrew Pekler releases The Prepaid Piano & Re-Played on Senufo Editions and Entr’acte

Andrew Pekler releases The Prepaid Piano & Re-Played on Senufo Editions and Entr'acte

You’re hanging out with your buds around the piano, and you get a call from your mom. As you reach for the phone, you drop it on the strings inside the piano right as Mitch, the most mercurial member of your social group, hits the climax of his rendition of the Leonard Cohen song he just learned that morning, and everyone groans. You’ve ruined the moment. We’ve all, including Germany’s Andrew Pekler, been there, but Pekler, in all his wisdom realized there just might some music there. And thus, Pekler’s latest album, The Prepaid Piano and Re-Played, was born. Mitch might complain, but as Carl confirmed on your solo coffee date last Wednesday, no one likes Mitch anyhow.

The Prepaid Piano and Re-Played follows Pekler’s excellent work in 2013 both on his own with Cover Versions and collaboratively with Giuseppe Ielasi on Holiday For Sampler. The release, inspired as it is by the culturally salient experience of dropping a buzzing cellphone on piano strings as a friend named Mitch fumbles through a Leonard Cohen cover, consists of two pieces. “Prepaid Piano” is the first — a pun on “prepared piano” — and it consists of a collection of sounds created by audience members at a performance calling five cellphones set to vibrate that had been placed on the strings of a piano. The sounds made were then routed through contact microphones and a synthesizer to create an ever-evolving soundscape. “Replayed,” then, finds Pekler converting the audio from this performance into MIDI data via Ableton’s audio-to-midi function (shout out to John Crowell’s piece on just this feature for TMT from last November), taking advantage of the system’s limitations and quirks in order to create an entirely new piece of music. Cool, right? No hate, but I bet if Mitch is reading right now, he didn’t even understand half of that!

Pick up the record either via Senufo Editions or Entr’acte right now, and hear an excerpt from the album over at the Chocolate Grinder.

• Andrew Pekler:
• Entr’acte:
• Senufo Editions:

Most Read