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Jascha Hagen & Max Arsava grand piano, motors, objects

compositions by Jascha Hagen

In the middle of the 20th century, John Cage used rudimentary preparations to turn a piano into a seemingly exotic percussion instrument. The piano interface "Alter Piano" attempts to turn a piano into a rabid ISBN modem. 12 digitally controlled electronic motors on 12 metal arms inside a grand piano transform the instrument into a screeching, sawing monster. Prepared piano 2.0? At the same time, the question of the relationship between man and machine, between instrument and playing machine, is constantly renegotiated by the motor interface inside the piano, the heart of Western music culture. The interface plays itself and the composer only acts as a programmer, he is controlled and the motors are used like body extensions, or it is simply overridden by human intervention, such as bowing on the strings or playing the interior piano with mallets and balls. 4 microphones above and below the piano microscope the sound during this process and transform the piano into an electro-acoustic object and the grand piano frame into its three-dimensional environment.


Max Arsava is a Berlin based pianist, improviser and composer. Besides his main instrument, he also plays synthesizers and other electroacoustic devices working with tapes, contact microphones, objects, as well as loopers and samplers. He is mainly working in the fields of contemporary music, free jazz and electroacoustic music with a strong interest in DIY culture, free improvisation, noise rock and other forms of community-oriented experimentalism.


Max Arsava- nowhere dense (aut records, 2023)

werken- kollektive verkabelung (creative sources recordings, 2023)

Max Koch- ten bulls (jazzwerkstatt, 2023)

Max Arsava- inert concaves (label 11, 2021)


alter piano



arsava.max (at)


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