Artist Maskull Lasserre has transformed two pianos into one sculpture in this thrilling piece titled The Third Octave. Joined together by the tentacles of a realistically carved octopus, the work is a testament to the artist's willingness to take risks in order to see surprising outcomes.
It took about 2,000 hours to complete the work, with Lasserre never quite sure of the final outcome. “There is no manual or known approach for making something like this,” the artist tells My Modern Met.
“So much has to work, and work perfectly the first time. There is no place to hide in a carving—no way to fix a mistake or make up for missing material. I played the violin for many years before I transitioned to visual art. Making a piece like this is like improvising a recital or performance in real-time.”
Each piano has been carefully dissected, with strings and hammers spilling forth. Lasserre does such an exceptional job at joining the two instruments that, at first glance, it appears to be one stretched-out piano. Some music lovers may not be happy that the pianos were transformed in this way, and Lasserre was keenly aware that he needed to stretch his skills to elevate these already exceptional instruments into something new.
“It is interesting to transpose a musical instrument into a sculptural object, a transposition that sacrifices some expected potentials for other surprising ones,” he confesses. “I needed to carve something worthy of the ‘sacrifice' of two pianos, something that would reveal their value in a different currency—not sound, but thought, and visual intricacy. The beauty of the mechanism of the instrument, and anatomy of the Octopus was a resonance (to use a musical term) that I hope the sculpture captures.”