Kate Ryder, United Kingdom
Kate Ryder is renowned for incorporating unusual keyboard instruments *such as toy pianos, music boxes, antique keyboards, and prepared piano* into her performances throughout the world. Highly regarded as a soloist and collaborator, she is also well known for commissioning and premiering new works, improvising, recording, lecturing, and leading workshops on the “extended” piano.
In solo and ensemble toy piano projects, Kate has developed an authentic new keyboard repertoire for a fast-growing collection of small vintage pianos (1904-1960) ranging from one to three octaves. In a unique style, she often stands while playing multiple toy pianos stacked around her, resulting in a multi-keyboard sound source that mixes intriguingly with beats, electronica, and images. Her performances in unusual spaces, from nightclubs to medieval churches and theatres, locate these instruments in an entirely different sound world, creating fascinating new perspectives for the listener and performer alike. “I have amassed an arsenal of small pianos including three highly prized antique Schoenhuts and a Schoenhut baby grand, the ‘Steinway’ of Toy Pianos. What fascinates me is the very distinct personality of each, and what happens when I combine them in concert with other instruments and electronic media.“