by Jarrett Hoffman
This weekend a collection of carefully placed screws, bolts, and pieces of wood, cloth, and rubber will make the Steinway in CIM’s Mixon Hall sound less like a piano and more like an ensemble of percussion instruments.
For that we can thank two men: John Cage for inventing the prepared piano (in which objects placed among the strings alter the sound of the instrument), and Roman Rabinovich for playing Cage’s The Perilous Night on Saturday, June 22 during a 7:30 pm concert titled “Sei Solo (You Are Alone),” the sixth of the season for ChamberFest Cleveland.
The sounds that emerge from the instrument will surprise even the man looking down at the keys. “When you get to the prepared piano, it kind of blows your mind because nothing comes out the way you expect,” Rabinovich, winner of the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, said during a recent interview. “It’s a beautiful effect and a very interesting way to approach the instrument.”