In this podcast episode, we're introduced to Noah Frere, a unique individual who is at once a piano technician, astrophysicist and astrologer. He began his journey in piano tech at the Randy Potter School of Piano Technology in 2006 and has worked with pianos across New York before moving to Tennessee where he pursued a master's degree in physics.

We are blessed to explore some of Noah’s own astrophotography, and he explains how various software tools are used to enhance images of celestial bodies. He discusses the intricacies of capturing different types of astronomical phenomena through long exposures and image stacking techniques.

The conversation then dives into the intersection between music theory, astrology, and astronomy. Often, when juxtaposing distinct domains we can find creative inspiration. How about an innovative compositional idea where musical notes or keys correspond with cosmic entities or astrological signs?

For the true piano nerds out there we dive into a technical project of Noah’s. Noah describes refurbishing a Steinway piano and aspects of refinishing its case. He demonstrates how to concoct homemade wood filler, work with veneers, and fashion homemade tools to get the job done.

We shift between musical and astral themes fluidly, discussing why lunar eclipses give the moon its reddish coloration—the result of Earth's atmosphere bending sunlight during such events. We get mathematical and understand methods used for estimating distances in space using Noah’s astral photographs.

The narrative continues by highlighting unexpected moments captured through telescopic photography like crescent moons alongside comets or witnessing earthshine on the moon. Learn how context influences our perception of size when viewing celestial objects near the horizon.

What a wonderful journey into the depths of our universe, with resonances into the realms of music, piano technology, myth and spirituality. Thanks to Noah for captaining a harmonious space ride like no other could!

About Noah Frere:
Noah's journey into piano technology began at the Randy Potter School of Piano Technology in 2006, sparked by a transformative encounter with Kent Webb's tuning of his Winter spinet in Brooklyn, NY. Since then, Noah has navigated diverse roles, from managing pianos at New York’s Beethoven Pianos to overseeing a fleet of rental pianos at Carroll Music. Noah is currently based in Knoxville, TN, where he’s been researching the relationship between asteroids (S- and V-types) and meteorites via spectral analysis, among other things. Yes, alongside his piano endeavors, Noah has pursued his passion for astronomy, earning a Master's in Physics at the University of Tennessee. Unique among us already as a piano tuning astronomer, Noah has taken the bold leap of reconciling the sometimes oppositional fields of astronomy and astrology. 


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Creators and Guests

Eathan Janney
Eathan Janney
Eathan has 20 years of experience as a piano technician. He studied with Dave Miller, the staff piano technician for the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Dave Carpenter, the inventor of the Verituner electronic tuning device, provided mentorship for Eathan in Chicago. Eathan also worked with Ken Eschete and Bill Schwarts, the staff piano technicians at Northwestern University in Chicago. In 2009, he founded Floating Piano Factory of New York, a company that allows piano technicians to move from Apprentice to Craftsman level while offering value pricing to clients as technicians progress toward mastery. In 2017 he founded Piano Technicians Masterclasses, an online project designed to offer cutting-edge instruction from piano industry masters to anyone on the globe with an internet connection.
Astrologer with a Masters in astrophysics in Vesta and her meteorites. IG @astronomologer
2020 Piano Technicians Masterclasses