The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things

Canaries playing pianos

Canaries playing pianos in Robert Gligorov's, 'Dollar Note', 2006.

Dollar Note is an incredible installation by Robert Gligorov, which features a bird cage full of canaries, mounted on two vertical pianos positioned back to back. As the canaries fly from perch to perch, their weight on each post strikes a piano key. Through the twin pianos, the birds thus create a companion melody to their own tuneful chirps.

But what of  the mysterious title, Dollar Note?  I assume the “note” part is intended as a double entendre for a musical note and currency, but I’m still rather stumped about the work’s connection to money. The only things I can think of is that “canary” is outdated English slang for a gold coin (for the “yellow” colour), or perhaps it somehow references canaries’ traditional role as sentinels in coal mines. But I feel like I might just be failing to see something obvious. Can anyone clue me in?

Regardless, I think this imaginative sculpture is simply lovely: a magical music machine which combines the beauty of nature and the technologies of man in a delightful and interesting way.

Canaries playing pianos in Robert Gligorov's, 'Dollar Note', 2006.

// Top image via aeroplastics; lower image via Sonate Harder tumblr. For another ridiculously interesting collaboration with animals, see Hubert Duprat’s jewel-encrusted fly larvae.


  1. Perhaps he originally created it to contain dollar-birds?
    That way, when they landed, they would literally create a dollar note…
    Dollar birds, however, only eat flying insects, so, I would imagine being kept in such a box would not really suit them, so , he had to replace them with canaries.

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