On Sensations of Cactus

Additional Information

This work compromise six preludes for piano and tape. Prelude six can be performed with either concert grand piano, or toy piano.

Inspired in part by the pianist Kate Ryder who introduced me to the amazing sonorities of the prepared piano, and the methods of John Cage. After the workshop, I composed a one-minute piece for Kate, which she liked. 

I toyed with a variety of notions, including using the exact same preparations that John Cage used in ‘Sonatas and Interludes’. Piano preparations can take a very long time. So in the end, the most practical thing to do, given that I’m a virtually unknown composer, without the resources that Cage could leverage, was to put the preparations on a ‘tape part’. This sort of thing is very common in pop music.

Lots of preparation sonorities have been used, including: ‘mutes’, ‘gongs’ and ‘lid-slams’. Other sounds, too, are included like ‘silent’ room ambient recordings, and even a cat! These ambient ‘silences’ form one element of the resonant texture, alongside spectral microtones, as well as resonant treatments and digital signal processes. 


By Stace Constantinou

March 9, 2016