The Excelsior Hall is located in the community of Wonyip in the Strzelecki Ranges in Victoria, Australia. Originally the local school hall from the early 1900's it fell in to disrepair until being rescued by community involvement some years ago. Recently the original piano from the hall was discovered languishing in a local barn and was returned to the renovated hall on the back of a tractor.
Now known as The Excelsior Piano it has been untuned for at least 40 years, however, all of its 80 keys work as do most of the dampers. I made a trip to the hall a couple of weeks ago and did a recording of the piano key by key in various ways and from these recordings have created the Excelsior Piano Rack for Ableton Live.
In the rack each piano key is represented by an individual sample in both long and short versions. The long version is striking the key and holding it down until the decay has finished, the short version is a quick strike of the key and recording until the decay has finished. There is also included a bonus drum rack of effects created by various string scrapes and hits against the piano frame etc.
Owners of Ableton's Sampler instrument can bust open the Simpler instruments and play with tuning the individual notes (good luck!) to make the piano more "playable".
Demo of the Excelsior Piano Effects Drum Rack:
Download The Excelsior Piano Rack here