In 1938 John Cage (1912-1992) created the first so-called 'prepared piano' - he just installed some hardware, including the screw and bolts in the heart of a short piano. Ten years later his sixteen Sonatas and four Interludes (to be played on such a specially equipped instrument) were completed.
Last Saturday we had a chance to experience a concert of the music by Cage played by Boris Berman at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.
We had never heard a piano 'improved' with hardware. It did sound very different, more like a few instruments (including drums and percussion) instead of one. I must admit that, at the beginning, the tunes played by the pianist seemed quite surprising. They also reminded me the sound of the old short piano with a metal board which I used (well, it was ages ago) when I was learning to play the instrument.
The final Sonatas presented at the concert brought the experimental music by King Crimson, a British progressive rock band, to my mind as well (my husband and I enjoy listening to various kinds of music).
I am very glad we could attend the music evening at The Nasher Center.The concert was quite a new experience to both of us and had a good time.