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Pain Avoidance Machine (2015)

Solo prepared piano. 53:00.

This detailed and intimate set of miniatures is a great introduction to Erik Griswold’s very personal sound world. Mechanistic motifs and rhythms are layered one atop another to create fragile musical collages. Like a broken pianola, the subtle nuances of the prepared piano have an off-kilter quality, full of unexpected resonances, buzzes, and percussive twangs.


“In late 2014, feeling stifled by the negativity of the Australian political discourse, the narcissistic excess of social media, and facing a long summer of migraine-inducing heat, I turned to the prepared piano as a refuge.
I was coming out of an intense two-year period of composing for every conceivable instrumental combination, and not sure where to go next. I felt the need to get back to basics, and create something essential, elemental. These pieces are meditations, each with it’s own mood, but constructed in a similar way. The piano is the pain avoidance machine.” - Erik Griswold

P.A.M. was premiered at home 14 August 2015 and released on Room40.


“A declaration of love.” – Rockerilla (Italy)


“raw, yet beautifully simplistic, fragile and often repetetive sketches. A different and interesting take on the prepared piano for sure.” –


“Here the piano his human voice; sings in chorus with Glass and Riley.” –
Kindamusik (Germany)


“Erik Griswold controls the piano like a puppet master. His solo compositions are so illusory as to be some form of corrupt magic – as if he were a traveling performer with a top hat and a push cart, mesmerizing the audience when they realize the puppets have no strings, just tiny clockwork gears, piston arms, automatonic eyebrows.” – Tiny Mix Tapes (U.S.)

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