A website devoted to studies in instrumental (especially piano ruin)


World Association for Ruined Piano Studies

Formed in 1991 by Stephen Scott (of Bowed Piano celebrity, and professor of music at Colorado Collage) and Ross Bolleter. The organisation has world-wide membership, has never held an AGM, and tends to move into action only from whim or from a rush of blood. WARPS has devoted energy to giving old pianos a good home, which can certainly mean adequate sunshine and rain, as in.......
Inactive, neglected, abandoned, weathered, decaying, ruined, devastated, dismembered, decomposed .......

A piano is said to be ruined (rather than neglected or devastated) when it has been abandoned to all weathers, say on a sheep station or tennis court, with the result that few or none of its notes sound like that of an even-tempered uptight piano.
A Ruined Piano has its frame and bodywork more or less intact (even though the soundboard is cracked wide open, with the blue sky shining through) so that it can be played in the ordinary way.
By contrast a Devastated Piano is usually played in a crouched or lying position.




This website is devoted in large part to the music of ruined piano.  In this regard, I want to acknowledge the collaboration between Anthony Cormican and myself which has produced some seventeen CDs (including a DVD) - with at least three more CDs to follow - in the last eleven years. This fruitful enterprise between WARPS and Frontear Productions has made the ruined piano project possible in its various forms since 2000.

WARPS CD releases 2011
Solitary Light features the music of various rural ruined pianos.
Gust features improvisations for ruined, and well maintained, accordions.
Music of Chance has four string players improvising in response to a ruined piano track to create a chance “quartet” and a chance “quintet.”
The 2011 editions of Piano Dreaming and Spring in Iraq are revised versions of these CDs, originally released in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

The ruined piano project has been documented through the three editions of The Well Weathered Piano  (3rd edition, 2009). There are also two published books of poems: All the Iron Night (Smokebush Press, 2004) and Piano Hill (Fremantle Press, 2009). 

There are two CDs of café music: Paradise Café: (Sunset Ostrich 01, 2004) and Café Sophia (Sunset Ostrich 02, 2008), which feature accordion with piano. The later album includes several of my songs.

I want to acknowledge Anthony’s production skills and his unstinting support of my work over the last eleven years. His brilliance as a producer and musician, and his encouragement have made the ruined piano project, and so much more, possible.

A selection of my work before 2000 is available on Crow Country (Pogus, New York, P21021-2, 2000). Work from 2000 to 2006 is available on Secret Sandhills and satellites (Emanem, 4128, London, UK). Night Kitchen (Emanem 5008, 2010) represents more recent work recorded in my kitchen, which houses five ruined pianos.

The images used on the covers of recent CDs (W 12, W14, W15, W16) is by visual artist Antoinette Carrier of Warps Art: acarrierau@yahoo.com.au I am grateful to Antoinette for her fine work as a composer and visual artist which anticipates and is contemporaneous with my own work with ruined pianos.

Filmmaker, Rob Castiglione is making a film on ruined piano, entitled The Well Weathered Piano – which is due for release in 2012.

My thanks to Martin Seddon and Rob Castiglione for their recording, support and friendship over the years.

Recent engagements include a performance in a concert with Mark Gasser and Anthony Pateras at the State Theatre, Perth, as part of Tura’s 10th Totally Huge New Music Festival, 2011. I acknowledge and thank Tura New Music www.tura.com.au for their support of my work as a composer and performer over the last twenty-five years.



All material ©2006-2011 by their respective owners. Site design by FrontEar Productions.