T&V Technician AJ Hall talks about tuning for festivals.
Currently, Theme & Variations are sponsoring Brisbane Festival, which involves supplying pianos for various venues involved in the festival as well as keeping them performance ready. Technicians AJ Hall and Paul Knight are tuning at venues as diverse as Metro Arts, QUT Gardens Theatre, Playhouse Theatre (QPAC), Spiegeltent and Concerto Hall (QPAC).
Tuning and preparing pianos for concerts requires a slightly different approach to tuning in a living room at home. Often there are technical crews to work around that are also competing for stage space in a short amount of time in the hours leading up to doors opening.
This year an international artist required tuning at a higher frequency than universal concert pitch. Other artists ask for a different amount of stretch in the tuning. This is not even taking into account the last minute voicing of the hammers to suit the hall or repertoire.
There are a multitude of tasks a tuner is expected to carry out and the reward is knowing that the musicians, audiences, sound recording teams and other stakeholders are using the best piano possible for the performances.
Technicians at Theme & Variations continually look for ways to improve and strive to serve the performer the best way they can and we look forward to being of service in the future.