The Choking Disklavier

How it looks in Sibelius

Imagine the Disklavier in the center of the stage, the composer/ performer somewhat distant to the side. Several microphones are put into position not over the strings, but this time at the hammers and keys. Remotely controlled by the composer/performer, the piano produces constantly rumbled and crackled noises, often very rhythmically, occasionally ringing strings are added on top, or stopping for a few seconds on a chord.

On a musical level this piece explores the sonic capabilities of the Disklavier machines. These instruments have hidden sonic qualities, and I try to explore these the same way I do with guitars for 20 years. The music will develop slowly, as there is a lot to discover for the listener.

On a technical level the Disklavier is fed too much information at the lowest possible volume. At this point the hammers do not have enough power to bang the strings anymore, and ideally they only vibrate to produce a low rumbling sound. Occasionally the MIDI brain even stops for a few seconds on a chord due to the data overload, hence the title “Choking Disklavier”.



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