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Erik Griswold

Wolf Moon

July 24, 2021

From Erik Griswold

16 layers of detuned vintage pianos produce an otherworldly resonance, a prolonged howl that resonates throughout the forest of New South Wales.

Recorded in the days leading up to the July full moon 2020, Wolf Moon was overdubbed in 16 intense 40-minute performances on the 16 pianos of the Piano Mill, a minimalist tower designed by architect Bruce Wolfe.

In each layer I use rapid-fire arpeggiations and shifting scale patterns to draw out the maximum resonance from each piano. The idea is to “sound” the building, generating standing waves through the minute fluctuations of speed and intonation. When the 16 layers of Wolf Moon are superimposed onto one another, sound phenomena are reinforced and multiplied, eventually reaching a total saturation point, and transforming the piano into a sustaining instrument.

Wolf Moon develops ideas first heard in “All’s grist that comes to the mill,” taking the sustained microtonality of “The Hive” and enlarging it onto a vastly larger canvas. It is also a natural complement to the Wallpaper Music series, which uses prepared and bowed piano and a long form approach to expand the spectrum of the piano.