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#2289705 - 06/14/14 04:25 PM 'Continuity' for solo piano and electronics
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5999
Loc: Europe

This is an old work of mine... rather weak in a lot of areas (especially that of the performance and the production), but it still was a blast to think about this, to actually create it in Finale 2000 (back then) and to make this happen!

Continuity for solo piano and pre-recorded material, otherwise known as the nightmare of the engineer.

The whole idea centres around the golden ratio (simplified to 55/89 in this case) and the continuity (broken or not) in time.

Bonus points to those who actually get what's going on in this piece (not sure if it's too hard, or whatever, but still).

On the piano, your own Nikolas! laugh

And here's a review for the piece, as written by a Swiss friend of mine:

Originally Posted By: Yannis
The most striking characteristics of this piece are the interplay of time and form on one hand, and articulation on the other, along with the way these characteristics interact. The piece is set for piano and a tape consisting mainly of piano sounds played backwards, other processed piano sounds and synthetic tones.

After the first few notes that already point to the importance that articulation and tone durations have throughout the piece, "Continuity" continues quite "harmless", as it seems, with simple accompaniment figure, wide-stretched melodic lines, and a steadily pulsating rhythm.

In combination, these effects lead to an experience of a timeline that is far from linear. Like in a cubist painting where you see one object from different sides at once, time is fractured and seems to be flowing in multiple directions, making the formal structure ambiguous and oddly contorted. The idea of "continuity" has an ironic twist, as the linear direction that is usually connected with it is eluded.

This of course adds a level of strangeness and bewilderment. Yet again, one is pulled out of an established reality (that of the piano sound), into something quite different. These synthetic tones only appear very shortly, but the perspective on the whole piece has changed after them. Similarly, the fact that a reversed tape is the same material, but still something entirely different because of our linear thinking in time, such "strange experiences" that change our listening perspective also have the effect that we can hear the same thing extremely differently, depending on it's position and context.

One might say: You never set foot in the same river twice, and even less so when it's flowing in several directions.

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#2289987 - 06/15/14 05:31 AM Re: 'Continuity' for solo piano and electronics [Re: Nikolas]
Michael Sayers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 2220
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Hi Nikolas, I listened and found it enjoyable. Given its former title the music to me sounds like a futuristic teleportation event gone awry (and that is intended as a compliment!).

Thanks for sharing this. It must have been a lot of work to get it all together properly. Definitely it shows that solo piano with pre-recorded material is a viable medium of expression and communication in your hands!

#2291405 - 06/18/14 12:46 AM Re: 'Continuity' for solo piano and electronics [Re: Nikolas]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5999
Loc: Europe

Thank you for listening and for your comments. And thanks for the (weird) compliment! laugh

I'm very happy to have recovered the recording while on vacation in order to post it.

I still remain uncertain for the viability of such a medium, since it would be VERY difficult to get it performed live (the syncing issues would be a nightmare), but other than that, I definitely know that it was a "fun" project to work on...

#2291446 - 06/18/14 02:58 AM Re: 'Continuity' for solo piano and electronics [Re: Nikolas]
Michael Sayers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 2220
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Then maybe the medium would be "recorded solo piano with pre-recorded material" wink


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