Additional Information

Two of the great limitations of the piano are that all 88 keys are tuned the same distance apart from each other (at least nominally) and that once one has played a note, the only control one has over is to stop it sounding. Compared to the infinite gradations of space on a fingerboard, of a bow, of breath, this seems rather unfortunate! This piece is, amongst other things, my attempt to come to grips with those restrictions – to explore the microtonal possibilities of the piano, and ways to both draw attention to and modify its wonderfully rich and complex resonance. This is done by unconventional means of playing the instrument itself, electronics, and the presence of the ensemble. However, resonance also implies something else – a dimension of cause and effect, where it is an inevitable consequence of a fixed action. Here, I seek to destabilize that relationship – effects become uncoupled from their causes, heard with the ‘wrong’ action, and indeed in some cases precede those actions altogether. So the piece becomes a little laboratory for ‘impossible’ relationships between sound and time. I’m immensely grateful to the Royal Academy of Music for financial support towards this project, to Ensemble Plus-Minus for their willingness to engage with the piece and, especially, to Roderick Chadwick, whose initial question ‘has there even been a truly spectral piano piece?’ (I still don’t know) started this all several years ago, and whose playing has been a constant inspiration for it.

Details

Year:
2012
Category:
Chamber (3 - 6 players)
View Score
Recordings:
Minutes:
26

Instrumentation

Cello
1
Clarinet
1
Electric guitar
1
Electronics
1
Piano
1
Violin
1

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