6:30pm Wednesday 3 February 2016
 State Library Theatre (State Library of W.A Ground Floor Francis St end.) 
Free Entry

As part of Tura’s new Sonix Program, Tura & The State Library of WA present Performances and Lecture by Saxophonist Luc Houtkamp (Netherlands) and Ruined Piano/Piano Accordionist Ross Bolleter (WA)

Dutch musical powerhouse & “free-jazz flame-thrower”, Luc Houtkamp will present a solo Saxophone performance and a short lecture on his work. 

“perfect timing and restrained outrageousness”


Renowned Western Australia composer and improviser Ross Bolleter – more known for his Ruined Piano works – presents Time Barrier for Ruined Piano Accordion, exploring the unsuspected beauties of ruined accordion. Old accordions encode forgotten styles and genres in their sound world, and what is decrepit stays close to the heart.



Luc Houtkamp bridges the gap between different worlds of music. Having a background in jazz & improvised music as a saxophone player, his musical goal is to establish a continuum between improvisation and composition in which the difference between the two dissolves.


With the aid of computers and live electronics as well as various forms of music notation his compositions are highly personal in both sound and concept. Stylistic freedom is not a post-modern cliché, but based on his belief that musical style is secondary in importance and they’re to serve the expressive quality of the music itself.


After a long-standing career as an improvising musician, Houtkamp established his own POW Ensemble in 2001. Being a flexible unit of musicians with musical backgrounds in jazz, rock, electronic and contemporary music, it soon became the ideal body for the performance of his own compositions.


Over the years, writing compositions became an important part of his musical output. Besides pieces for the POW Ensemble, he started composing for numerous other ensembles and musicians.

Luc Houtkamp currently lives in Malta.





Ross Bolleter was born in 1946 and is a West Australian composer, musician and poet. Bolleter studied music, including theory, history and composition, at the University of Western Australia. His study awoke an interest in the music of composers such as Anton Webern, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez.


After six years playing cocktail piano at the Parmelia Hilton, he investigated non-conventional timbral and rhythmic possibilities of the prepared piano, and released a cassette,Temple of Joyous Bones, which featured prepared piano.

Ross Bolleter (photo by Antoinette Carrier. Copyright Antoinette Carrier)

Bolleter has explored playing ruined pianos, old pianos that have been found after been left exposed to the action of time and weather, thus acquiring novel and unexpected musical possibilities. Thus, a piano is ruined (rather than neglected or devastated) when it has been abandoned to all weathers and has become a decaying box of unpredictable dongs, tonks and dedoomps.


Ross has been exploring the decaying world of ruined pianos for over twenty years. He calls them the “the left hand of the universe”. Derelict, abandoned, weak, declining, sad, quirky, crumbling – they are both a metaphor for human frailty and decline and what can be born from pain and loss.





December 9, 2015: Completed the English text of my book “The Well Weathered Piano.” This is currently being translated into French by Guillaume Belhomme, in Nantes, France, and will be published in French and English by his company, Lenkalente, in July 2016.


November 21, 2015: An interview with Stephen Adams went to air on ABC Classic FM’s Music Makers. The interview was recorded at WARPS Studios, Saturday May 23, 2015. The same interview will be available as a New Waves Podcast – a summer special.


November 1, 2015: second showing of Rob Castiglione’s film An Invitation to Ruin at Notre Dame University as part of the 2015 Fremantle Festival.


June 9, 2015: I began a series of oral history recordings with Julia Kay Wallis for the State Library of Western Australia.


June 5, 2015: Recording of my composition Sea Change performed by Gabriella Smart and recorded by Michael Terren at WARPS Studios.


May 21, 2015: The premiere of Rob Castiglione’s film An Invitation to Ruin on my work with ruined piano at the State Library of Western Australia Theatrette. I gave a short ruined piano performance before the showing of Rob’s film. This event was part of Tura New Music’s Totally Huge New Music Festival for 2015, and was well received by a large and enthusiastic audience. 


May 15, 2015: Interview with filmmaker Rob Castiglione on Radio 6RTR to promote the premiere of his film An Invitation to Ruin.



Christmas, 2014: Finished CD of my poetry with musical interludes and overlaps called While my coffee cools …

released as WARPS W22.


November 8, 2014: Improvised Prepared Schwechten Grand Piano performance “Off the road to Gundagai”:

at the Australian Urban Design and Research Centre, West Perth.


June 6, 2014: Finished my double CD of ruined piano, Frontier Piano – recorded primarily at Wambyn Olive Farm, York, Western Australia. Frontier Piano was released as WARPS W22.


May 2014: Publication of my book The Five Ranks of Dongshan, by Wisdom Publications, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Filmmaker, Rob Castiglione is making a film on ruined piano, entitled The Well Weathered Piano – which is due for release in November 2014.  


October 26 & 27, 2013: Ross Bolleter performs on five ruined pianos and tells stories at the Round House–http://vimeo.com/92599609

This video by Antoinette Carrier is an edited version of Ross Bolleter’s two concerts on 5 ruined Pianos at the Round House, Fremantle, which went up as part of the Fremantle Festival on October 26 & 27, 2013. West Australian stories which have as their theme the piano – ruined or otherwise –are interspersed with ruined piano improvisations.

Filmed by Antoinette Carrier.


Piano Hill - Poetry Book Launch
Penguin Books Australia

Piano Hill Authors: Bolleter, Ross   


Well known composer and musician Ross Bolleter expands his creative territory with this striking new collection of original poetry.Meditations on the big themes of desire, love, death, and the passing of time, these are poems of celebration and regret, intimacy and broad sympathy.They encompass personal lyrics, contemplation, narrative and an extraordinary poem sequence ('Suite for Ruined Piano') where poet, composer and performer meet.


Published: 23 November 2009

Format: Paperback, 64 pages

RRP: $24.95

ISBN-13: 9781921361647

Imprint: Fremantle Press

Publisher: Fremantle Press

Origin: Australia

Category: Poetry By Individual Poets




Frontear Productions and WARPS present WARPS 11 -FIVE by FIVE - 5 pieces in 5.1 Surround - a DVD.


Composition: Ross Bolleter. Production: Anthony Cormican. Photographics: Vivienne Robertson.

Video production/recording: Rob Castiglione.

Additional recording: Martin Seddon.


May 30: Rob Castiglione completes a short film: Five Studies in Ruin -the first stage in the larger project of a Ruined Piano documentary feature.


April 29' 07 Ruined Piano Sanctuary at Wambyn Olive Farm, near York, West Australia. As part of Tura New Music's Totally Huge New Music festival - a guided tour of the Sanctuary. Talk on the Ruined Pianos with brief performances on those not entirely mute.



November 18 - The launch of the Ruined Piano Sanctuary. This included an exhibition of Vivienne Robertson's photographs on canvas in the Wambyn exhibition space. These works had as their theme the ruined pianos at the Sanctuary. Vivienne Robertson's Ruined Piano Calender - a ruined piano for each month of the year, was also launched to critical acclaim.  The guided tour was recorded by ABC's Radio National. The concert and piano burning were filmed and recorded by Robert Castiglione, and are providing footage for Rob Castiglione's forthcoming Ruined Piano film. Some of it has been used in his short film, Five Studies in Ruin.  Vivienne Robertson, the photographer produced a stunning photo essay of the pianos in the Sanctuary, including this piano as it burned.  The curator of the Sanctuary, Kim Hack did virtuoso piano moving. The large German piano, the Hoelling and Spangenberg burned magnificently.

100 people attended. The sanctuary was well launched.The Program for the Launch of the Ruined Piano Sanctuary


Tura New Music in association with Wambyn Olive Farm and WARPS Music presents:

The Ruined Piano Sanctuary Launch Saturday 18th November 2006


Following the success of the Inaugural Ruined Piano Convergence as part of the 2007 Totally Huge New Music Festival, the many collected pianos have made the journey east to near York WA.

Under the supervision of composer Ross Bolleter and the practical hands of Wambyn owner KimHack, the pianos have been placed in a variety of intriguing environments around the farm. Pianos from the convergence have been joined by a steady stream of new additions as the general public continue to heed the call for Ruined Pianos that was established as part of the convergence.

It is envisaged that this Ruined Piano Sanctuary will be a permanent home for ruined pianos from around the state. Of course the beauty of this is that here they can continue the process of decomposition as the elements continue to create new and wonderful nuances in their sound, appearance and mechanisms.looks and me chanisms.

To celebrate the establishment of the Sanctuary, Tura New Music is presenting a special day of guided tours and performances at Wambyn Olive Farm.




  • 3 pm Guided Tour of Ruined Piano Sanctuary - Ross Bolleter will take the audience on a tour of the 18 Ruined Pianos spread around the property, retelling their stories and demonstrating their unique ….

  • 6 pm Performance: Ross Bolleter and Guests - A special performance on 3 selected Ruined Pianos: Ruined Piano improvisations laced with stories and poems about the pianos or other aspects of ruin.

  • 7 pm Official Launch of the Piano Sanctuary

  • 8 pm Piano Burning


"The pianola's dusky melodies become the harsh and common parlance of dogs, crows and sheep station owners complaining about the drought." Ross Bolleter is a West Australian improviser/composer. His love of Ruined Pianos started in 1987 with discovery of at Nallan Station. Many international Ruined Piano recordings and performances later Ross is delighted to have this "herd" of instruments on which to discover yet another universe of sounds and possibilities


Tickets for the Launch Day and Performance are Strictly Limited and must be purchased prior to the day

Entrance: $25 includes BBQ Dinner

Tura on 08 9380 6996. www.tura.com.au


June 2006

Release of Secret Sandhills and satellites on Martin Davidson's label,Emanem (EMANEM 4128.)



The First Ever Ruined Piano Convergence gave me the opportunity to give 2 public performances on 4 Ruined Pianos simultaneously. (October 2 and October 5) These pianos had come from my kitchen to join the 14 pianos in the Piano Labyrinth.* Guided tours of the Labyrinth - introducing everone from children to old people to the ruined pianos.

  • Secret Sandhills produced in surround by Anthony Cormicanand presented at PICA on October 1 and October 4.


  • The launch of my book The Well Weathered Piano (WARPS Publications)by Festival Director Tos Mahoney at the Festival Opening


  • Duets with Annea Lockwood in the Piano Labyrinth at the opening of the Festival.Duets with Annea on Bathers' Beach on the grand piano as part of her installation Southern Exposure


  • Performed Piano Signatures by Michal Murin (Slovakia), October 7.  Michal did his sleeping piece in my Yamaha Grand. See photo.


  • Performed Andrew Ford's A Ruined Waltz for Ross Bolleter (from his Waltz Book) on conventional piano and then on the Ruined Piano from Cue - the piano that had originally inspired the waltz.


  • Solo pieces improvised on 4 ruined Pianos for Andrew Ford' The Music Show October 8


  • Media coverage of the Ruined Piano phenomenon


  • Street Stories radio program The Piano Man produced by Annie Thomson (9/11 and 12/11 '05)


  • The Deep End with Sian Phillips September 23 '05


  • Program on ABC Television Stateside produced by Mick O'Donnell, October 1


  • Article 'The Past Strikes a Modern Note.' in the Australian Arts Page by Matthew Westwood, September 23


  • Article in the Weekend West Australian The Piano Man by Griffin Longley with photos (including cover photo) by Frances Andrijich, October 1


  • The launch of Andrew Ford's book, In Defence of Classical Music, with a chapter on my work with ruined pianos, 'Things Fall Apart in the Music of Ross Bolleter.'  Andrew read that chapter as his paper for the Conference and prefaced it with a reading of Yeats's The Second Coming


  • The Ruined Piano Sanctuary at Wambyn Olive Farm. On Friday October 21’ 05, the pianos from the Piano Labyrinth were taken to Kim Hack’s and Penny Mossop’s Olive Farm near York, 80kms east of Perth, West Australia. Kim, driving a crane with up to seven pianos suspended off it, placed them under trees, on rocks, in the bends of streams, on a shed roof, in a dam – where they are all degrading at their own rate, and in their own way. (One has been engulfed by white ants who have transformed its insides into a gothic cathedral of ingested wood. Another has been occupied by rats who’ve built their nest in the top and are no doubt enjoying the high rise living that this Blakely and Thomas piano provides. Honouring the pianos’ decline, I’m doing a series of time lapse recordings, and also recording those pianos which can still produce sounds for inclusion in current work. I hope that the Sanctuary will be a source of inspiration and creativity for artists in the future. Kim Hack, apart from growing and pressing the olives for olive oil – the only organically produced olive oil in the district - is the curator of ruined pianos in the Sanctuary. On the olive farm he’s built a Retreat Centre – open to meditation groups into the unforeseeable future. Vivienne Robertson, the photographer, has produced a stunning photo essay of the pianos in the Sanctuary. Tanya Visocevic has begun making a film of the continuing installation and recording of the pianos. Important note: pianos used in the sanctuary are already unplayable. Mostly they have been donated by people wanting to get rid of their pianos. Under the auspices of Tura New Music, a Ruined Piano weekend is planned for October 14-15 this year with performances on the pianos, and guided and unguided tours of the property. Good to be able to share this resource. Having others playing the pianos opens the possibility of simultaneous performance in the sanctuary too – the sound of the pianos turning the olive farm into a large resonating instrument.


  • Martin Davidson’s Emanem has released Ross Bolleter’s Secret Sandhills and satellites. Due out mid June.



  • 15/04/2004  "All the Iron Night" by Ross Bolleter - Book Launch at Tsumani Restaurant, 18 Glyde Street, Mosman Park, 6:30pm.


  • Spring In Iraq - A ground breaking sonic journey. Also includes Ross Bolleter's original setting of Kenneth Slessor's renowned poem, "Five Bells" - a piece for piano (Ross Bolleter) and baritone (Andrew Foote).


  • Pocket Sky - a live to air piece for six performers linked up through six radio stations on two continents.



Paradise Cafe - The first release on the new Sunset Ostrich Label. Featuring the works of Astor Piazolla. A great selection of tangoes, waltzes and other tracks including "The Nearness of You" and "Stella by Starlight". Also features original compositions by Ross Bolleter. All performances delivered on various beautiful sounding accordions and pianos.



  • Death and Journey - a collaboration with composer /song writer Cat Hope, involving elements of ruin in the dark, erotic songs of Cat Hope. Their first public performance together will be at Club Zho on 16th September.


  • Recording of Ross Bolleter’s setting of Kenneth Slessor’s Five Bells.


  • 19/08/2002 Rob Muir’s DEEP to be performed Tura Events Co’s Club Zho The piece has been created by sampling chords from a ruined piano, and then digitally manipulating them. Muir says that it’s a soundscape that’s minimal in conception, but certainly doesn’t sound that way.


  • 01/08/2002 Ross Bolleter records Ruined Pianos in Alice Springs between August 1 and August 22. Some of these recordings will be done on a Ruined Globe piano at the Old Telegraph Station. The story goes that this was the first piano in Centralia, and was brought to Alice Springs from Oodnadatta on a camel’s back. A drum of water was attached to the other side of the camel’s hump to counterbalance the weight of the piano.

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