Eddie Tichelaar and the Unhaunted Piano

Kitty's piano

The piano for the jewellery project! Thank you Eddie and abc Pianos!

Recently I had the opportunity to pop out to abc Pianos in Montrose and meet the owner, Eddie Tichelar, who has donated a whole piano to the Kitty jewellery project! In due course we’ll be dismantling it to use the walnut panels, ivory keyboards and various strings, hammers and fitting to make decorative arts.

I had a lovely afternoon with Eddie, and discovered that repurposing dead pianos for jewellery isn’t the only use for the instruments he picks up.

Naturally, he restores and reconditions a lot of pianos – the ones that are salvagable at any rate. Others that can’t really be made servicable again get stripped for parts, like an old car! Ivory keys, brass fittings and especially the matching stools get used to match with pianos of the same vintage and wear to bring that back into shape.

But of course, many pianos have been left too long without tuning or care. With the strings not maintained at the correct tension, and the pianos sometimes stored where temperatures vary too greatly, the wood warps and the instrument becomes irretrievably out of tune. There’s nothing much to be done with the oldest and most out-of-tune pianos except toss them. Eddie only has so much room to store pianos for parts.

Some pianos get a second life as props. They might be emptied of metal frame, strings and all and sit on theatre or film sets, or in museums, looking the part without needing to be played.

IMG_3309Yet others can be made into something non-musical yet creative. Eddie’s own home features a few pianos that have been turned into display cases, and he tells me that FEral Arts Studio turns piano parts into art. He showed me pictures of piano frames used as headboards, garden beds and other decorative items as well.

When I asked Eddie if he had any ‘haunted piano’ stories, he laughed and took me to his store room. As we walked in, an ordinary piano (as opposed to the kind that have music rolls) began to play. There was a trick to it, which you can see here, but it was a wonderfully creepy moment.

So: if you have a piano that needs tuning; if you want to rent a piano so you can learn to play; if you want to talk to Eddie about parts and art or renting a dummy piano for a production, get in touch with abc Pianos in Montrose!

Interested in donating to or being part of the Kitty Jewellery Project? Visit the project page and stay tuned for details.

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.

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Nath Holden’s art

The Hobbit by Nath HoldenNath Holden, as some of you may already know, is the artist who created the Kitty and Cadaver banner!  He also created the band shield that we use as an icon, as well as the portraits in the About the Creators section.

You may also know that Nath and I are working on a comic book! Demon of the Earth will tell the origin story of Yuka, the angry drummer whose first band was killed by a demon they accidentally summoned.

Keep an eye on this blog for sneak previews of his prep work, posts on his art techniques and some glimpses of the comic while he turns my story into art!

The talented Jason Franks has been giving us advice on how to go about making a comic book and has offered to do the lettering: so not only is he a fabulous writer (as demonstrated by Bloody Waters and his own comic books) he’s a generous guys with his time and support!

Daenerys Game of ThronesIn the meantime, if you like Nath’s art, he does portraits on commission.

Besides portraits of friends and family, he draws bands and characters from film and television. Like Game of Thrones‘ Daenerys, for example.

(Given my ongoing love affair with Sherlock Holmes and his incarnations, I’m considering a pic of BBC Sherlock to celebrate the filming of season 3!)

Nath commissionsHere are a few examples of his portraits. Nath is a dab hand at Star Trek old and new. He also does regular folks (see About the Creators for his portraits of Jess, me and himself!).

Nurse Chapel (Original Trek) by Nath HoldenIt’s nice to see Nurse Chapel done so well, and look! Leeloo!

Leeloo by Nath Holden

To see more of Nath’s artwork and maybe commission a portrait, visit his Facebook page: Nath Holden – Illustrations or email Nath.

Feel free to leave a comment about this post and the Kitty project below.

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.

The Pink Ass-Purse

This is the pink marble purse that Steve sees in the Bourke Street Mall in the latter part of Chapter Three.

IMG_1315 IMG_1478 IMG_1479The sculpture is called The Public Purse, created by Simon Perry in 1994 and is carved from pink granite. The clasp is made of stainless steel.

And perhaps it’s just Steve and I who think it looks a little like a skinny pink arse from the back.

Feel free to leave a comment about this post and the Kitty project below.

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.

Rock Art

20130628-175243.jpgThe Kitty Project is as much about the ways in which art, music and storytelling combine as about the actual story. Sometimes I blog about music, art and storytelling in combination.

I always enjoy it when art forms collide. Seems they like it at stylist.co.uk, where a post in the Life section highlights art that has been inspired by songs by bands like Bon Iver, TV on the Radio and Bloc Party. see Indie Rock Meets Art

If you know of (or make) any art inspired by music, leave a link!

(Art credit: the piece here is by Toby Triumph, inspired by Iron & Wine’s The Trapeze Swinger)

Do you have any music/art/story combos to share?

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.

Coveting Art

le_pianoquarium_by_aquasixio-d4xy3uqThe Kitty Project is as much about the ways in which art, music and storytelling combine as about the actual story. Sometimes I blog about music, art and storytelling in combination.

It was while poking around Deviantart one day that I discovered the art of AquaSixio, otherwise known as Cyril Rolando, a clinician psychologist working in Southern France. Just cast your eyes over to the right there, and marvel at the marvellousness. Isn’t it gorgeous and strange and… well… marvellous? As in, to be marvelled at?

I found his work while I was in the earlier stages of planning the Kitty and Cadaver universe, and one day, if this project goes well, I may ask Cyril to design a book cover or an album cover for me. I don’t know if he takes commissions, but dear lord, how I covet a piece of his work for my very own.

My favourite works of his are all of them. No, I mean, my especially favourite favourites are the pieces with music as a central theme. I find them haunting, magical, darkly whimsical, surprisingly playful and altogether glorious. The raging drummer in the volcano, the leaping fish piano, the singer disintegrating mirror balls, the deer harp. If I keep going I’ll just describe all of them.

rage_by_aquasixio-d53kwwpThese images, for me, tap into the well of music and how it feeds into (and through and back again) nature and emotion. Each time I look at one of these images, I get a hum in my heart of excitement, and a hum in my brain that encourages me to examine the elements of each picture, both individually and as a whole.

These pictures speak to me. They don’t always say the same thing when I look at them – the art and I appear to be having a dialogue. But isn’t that you want out of art (any art – music or writing or painting or craft), that it speaks to you and you find you always have something to say back?

Now I’m dishing out all kinds of poet-babble. Suffice it to say I love Cyril Rolando’s work, I aim to own some one day, and, with his permission, I am sharing some of my favourite AquaSixio pieces with you today, both music- and writing-related.

You can see Cyril’s entire portfolio – and yes, buy prints – via his website, Sixinside.

And, why yes, I am saving up for a number of the pieces you see here today. 🙂

Do you have any music/art/story combos to share?

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.