The Piano Mill is a testing ground for exploratory music and architecture; a place and event where professional musicians and architects are not bound by the traditional confines of their craft. During this yearly music festival the Bach Bar is reinvented to provide a place to mingle and socialise mid and post-sonic adventure.
The 2021 Bach Bar is a temporal space that interrogates the association of intimacy and memory in the physical realm. In the wake of 2020 this installation explores the dichotomy between the desire for physical gathering and the need for physical distancing.
The installation was imagined as curation of events. These intimate moments are facilitated by two physical interventions; 1) Blue: a set of objects for gathering around, and 2) Pink: a canopy that defines territory and space, woven into the existing built and natural structures. This distinctive pink component is deployed as a wayfinding device across the site for the festival.
The bar was created by curating a collection of found objects, chosen for their historical tendency to be foci for gathering: a family piano, bar stools, a circular table, a ledge, a fireplace. To emphasise their special character the objects were painted a deep Royal Blue; referencing the chromatic fascination of the recently-discovered resident Bowerbirds.
Sweeping planes of pink tape is woven into the existing built fabric, establishing physical connections between the Blue gathering objects and defining the territory of the Bar. The Pink is experienced differently from far away as an solid object glowing in the landscape, and from close by as hundreds of strips rustling in the breeze and shimmering as the dull sunlight glistens on the condensed fog clinging to the strands. This element was installed across the property as wayfinding features across the site, guiding patrons through their exploratory and auditory festival journey.
The lightweight and ephemeral qualities of the installation enable a fluidity of use and enclosure that generates personal and adapting experience. Each subsequent interaction is new, adapting to the specific event within, the environment out and the movement of patron through and around it.
The bar attracts and intensifies movement, experience and intimacy in the physical sense, an antithesis to contemporaneous social engagement that has become premeditated, virtual and dissatisfying.
Photography Chris Wardle, Chris Ward, Yolande Vorster, Callum Senjov and Tamarind Taylor