I am animating Al Neil’s old piano. This is a work in progress. The piano is held up by a steel framework that I made to allow a 360 degree freedom of movement. My plans are to automate the movement and sounds of the piano following the rhythm of the tides.

Al Neil (1924-2017) was a celebrated Vancouver musician, writer, and visual artist. From 1969 until 2015 this piano was a fixture in the Blue Cabin, Neil’s home with his partner, artist and collaborator Carole Itter.

In 2015, the Blue Cabin was relocated from the shore of Burrard Inlet. The piano was removed from the cabin, lifted up over the roof by an excavator, and transported to artist Luke Blackstone’s studio. Starting in 2017, I used the piano for an exploratory learning project, as part of a year-long mentorship project with Luke, supported by the BC Arts Council. This project grew out of the research and work I completed with Luke during that time.

More Info

Learn more about Al Neil on the Vancouver Art in the Sixties archive

Read the feature in Canadian Art about the cabin, The Little Blue Cabin That Could

Find out where the Blue Cabin is now at The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency Project