Kathy Hinde

Piano Migrations : 2010

… the standout experience is an audiovisual installation by Kathy Hinde: an ingenious music box, in which video of flittering birds on six electricity lines becomes an ever-changing score, their come-and-go presence triggering cracks and clicks in the guts of a piano mechanism. It’s somehow completely alive, and you could relax in its company for hours. 

Venue Magazine


The inside of an old upright piano, is recycled into a kinetic sound sculpture. Videos of birds are projected directly onto the piano to provide an ever-changing musical score. The movement of the birds trigger small machines to twitch and flutter on the piano strings. In this work, nature controls machines to create delicate music.

The best work of the festival, however, was an unassuming installation in the foyer of the Scottish Music Centre. In Kathy Hinde’s Piano Migrations, a piano becomes a bird cage  (or should that be a Cage bird)…”  The Arts Desk review from Sonica Festival, Glasgow 2012.

Piano Migrations was runner up for the Sonic Arts Award 2014 and listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014

Piano Migrations is also suitable to show outdoors and has toured with the show ‘For the Birds’ alongside being featured in a number of outdoor light and sound festivals.

Piano Migrations at ‘For the Birds’ in Wellington, New Zealand photo by Nicola Easterby


The installation can become a site for a live intervention, changing from an installation to a live performance. Kathy Hinde mixes video projections live to activate the piano strings in different ways. She is joined by Matthew Olden, performing with his own custom made live sampling software. Together they create a captivating performance where image becomes sound and sound becomes image through a series of transformations realised through acoustic sound, live sampling, automata and projections. Here are some extracts  from a performance recorded at Lab30 Festival, Augsburg in October 2012

Top image © Bruce Atherton and Jana Chiellino 2010

Below, images taken by Kathy Hinde of the Installation at Almost Cinema Festival, Ghent, October 2011.

Images of the installation at SESC Mostra De Artes festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil in Nov-Dec 2010; and at 20 Hoxton Square Gallery as part of Concrete and Glass Festival, London, May 2010.