Nicole Wong
Etude
2019-20
Self playing piano, recorded floppy disks and transcribed recordings on music sheets
Dimension variable

Étude is a series of musical scores in which the notes are transcribed from recordings of piano practice sessions. Inspired by the sound of her neighbor’s piano practices, Wong aims to redefine what failure means to different people and in doing so, reveals the dark comedy between the differences in perspective. Wong describes her neighbor’s practice as extremely repetitive, with minimal progress, and that it suspends the listener’s expectations indefinitely - yet to the pianist it may be the only way to improve. To Wong, the consistent practice and the player’s unyielding spirit is documented within the mistakes and variations of each musical sheet - mimicking the human spirit of trial and error.

Étude echoes the themes of Wong’s previous work such as Until I Get It Right (2014-16), where the artist stamped dates on paper using a standard date stamp - a physical manifestation of monotony overtime. Yet in Étude, by recording another individual’s piano practice session, Wong advances her research of the mundane by introducing a even more detached perspective.


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