Features One Question Interviews What's That Noise? Kaada

What's That Noise?

One Question Interviews: Kaada


SPB: For Misinterpretations, you used a grand piano that was (as I understand it) modified with something called Putty Kit, which leads to a unique sound. What is your experience using this and what inspired this project?

Kaada: Putty-Kit goes under many different names : Heftemasse/Klebemasse, Tack-it, Multi-Tac to name a few. It’s that thing you use to hang up posters on the wall, without using tape. To prepare piano with different kinds of objects on the strings can give unpredictable results. The advantage with Putty-Kit is that it sticks in place, and is easy to remove without leaving gut on the strings when you remove it. Normally preparing strings on piano is done with metal, plastic or wood objects. But if you put a dash of putty-kit on a perfectly tuned spot on the strings, new overtones will arise at the same time as the sound is dampened. A journalist referred to it as cello pizzicato, which is a description with I love. 

Classical piano music can be so incredible boring to listen to. From my perspective, I think it is because I have played classical piano all my life, and it’s a long time between I am actually interested in what I hear. The great masters are out there but, usually, I feel fed up with traditional piano. With prepared piano, you get a non-linear disturbance in the music. The strings are suddenly struggling to make the beautiful sounds that they are supposed to be making. And the pianist -- in this case me -- has to listen more closely to what actually comes out of the instrument. The piano becomes more equal in producing the direction of the music. You have to listen to each given moment, and play the individual sounds, more than the instrument. If that makes sense to say? 

I bought a piano, a fantastic 1930 Bechstein some years ago. I sent it off to Germany for a major brush up. Got it back, ready to practice. But somehow I was a bit disappointed, because I felt I wasn’t able to transfer my style of music onto it. All of a sudden, it sounds like everything else. The putty-kit preparation was an instant love. The quirkiness and the energy that came out of it inspired me to jump into the piano-literature, and to seek out old masterpieces that would work with this kind of sound.  The pieces were played over and over, hundreds of times, and slowly, they melted together with this strange piano-sound.  

I picked out compositions by Grieg, Debussy, Schubert and some others -- From a great span in music-history, actually. And I organically played my way into them., often just the parts of the compositions that connected to me emotionally. Since my piano is in my studio, and I already have microphones rigged up, I started the process of making an album. To record stuff is the best way to learn and practice, because you are so confronted with what and how you are actually playing.  So through recording each song probably hundreds of times, I formed this album. 


Listen here:




Words by Loren on March 5, 2021, 6:43 p.m.

KFAI - Undead
Leave a comment

Posted by Loren on March 5, 2021, 6:43 p.m.

Share this content
Related news

Records Kaada has a new piano album

Posted Dec. 13, 2020, 12:23 p.m.

In 2021 Kaada, aka John Erik Kaada (also of Cloroform), will release the album Misinterpretations, a collection of Kaada deconstruction classic European piano compositions on a grand piano where the ...

Videos Music Video Announcement: "Farewell" by Kaada

Posted Oct. 23, 2019, 8:46 a.m.

Having grown up in a pre-YouTube era and gone through film school many moons ago, I've always appreciated music videos that served as more than just promotional material for ...

Records Kaada to release ZomebieLars soundtrack

Posted Jan. 20, 2019, 4:32 p.m.

Norwegian composer John Erik Kaada will release a new soundtrack from the Scandinavian TV series ZombieLars, set to officially release on Jan. 25, 2019. The show itself if a drama ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil

Series: What's That Noise?

One-question interviews with artists where we find out about the gear and equipment they use to achieve their sound.

More like this

Black Sheep Wall

One Question Interviews Black Sheep Wall

Posted April 12, 2021, 8:30 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Scott Turner (Black Sheep Wall) SPB: What’s the most MacGyver-esque workaround you’ve made to connect different bits of equipment? Turner: Using a $5 ...


One Question Interviews Ploho

Posted April 7, 2021, 8:39 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Igor Starshinov (Ploho) SPB: What make/model of synth did you primarily use on the new record? How did you choose this model? Starshinov: We ...

Pinned in Place

One Question Interviews Pinned in Place

Posted April 2, 2021, 5:31 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Sean Arenas (Pinned in Place – guitar) SPB: What guitar do you play (and how did you choose it)? Arenas: I've only ever owned one ...


One Question Interviews Vincas

Posted March 31, 2021, 8:17 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Gene Woolfolk III (Vincas - guitar) SPB: What type of guitar do you play for live gigs and how/why did you choose it? Woolfolk: I ...


One Question Interviews Bummer

Posted March 22, 2021, 7:08 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Matt P. (Bummer) What is your amp setup and how did you choose to pair that with your guitar? Matt says:


One Question Interviews Hiram-Maxim

Posted March 4, 2021, 8:20 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Fred Gunn (Hiram-Maxim – vocals) SPB: From when you were starting out to now, what parts of your setup have really helped voice your sound over ...

Mikey Erg

One Question Interviews Mikey Erg

Posted March 2, 2021, 8:45 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Mikey Erg SPB: Walk our readers through your kit and offer insight as to how you arrived at your sizes (shells and cymbals)?  Mikey: My ...

Mad Caddies

One Question Interviews Mad Caddies

Posted Feb. 23, 2021, 8:20 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Mad Caddies SPB: Was the mic’ing of the horns in the studio different for Punk Rocksteady than on “traditional” Mad Caddies records? Mad Caddies ...


One Question Interviews Jarboe

Posted Feb. 22, 2021, 7:59 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Jarboe SPB: What is the “go to” Jarboe keyboard (make/model) and what makes this one so essential for you? Jarboe: M-Audio PROKEYS88  Reliable slave ...

Something Is Waiting

One Question Interviews Something Is Waiting

Posted Feb. 11, 2021, 8:56 p.m.
What's That Noise?

William Thomas Fay (Something Is Waiting) SPB: I hear you make your own cabs. Can you tell us what the most important custom features are ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.