Player Piano Study No.8 (“Ignoratio Elenchi”)

I awoke this morning before first light, having been dreaming some of these patterns: this is the eighth of my essays in virtual piano performance, part played, part programmed. 

Edited as score, graphs and ‘piano roll’: 
the music is an approximate recall of the repetitive arpeggiated cycles of my dream, in bright yellows, oranges and greens.

During rhythmic periods of equal length, speeds of harmonic change overlap between the two parts. 
Cycles are established then eroded or asynchronously phased before rejoining and again diverging incrementally in pitch, by octatonic degrees.

These are the ways that continual falling and swooping motions described themselves in the dream, suddenly broken with a different thought. 


Virtual Piano Study No.1


As I mixed my ‘factory’ pianos with Conlon Nancarrow’s ancient Ampico player-piano (thanks again to Trimpin who obtained and shared it), I started to feel as though each instrument should occupy a different (virtual) physical space. 
Like characters in separate rooms, speaking to, at, over, against, about, in spite of each other.
We move through a series of shadowy places, sometimes close, tight interiors then through warped thresholds to unreal open sky. 

This music is an exercise in 

  • using the sound sources, themselves alone and in uncomfortable combination, 
  • in auditory credulity and credibility, 
  • in exploring the essence of ‘realism’ and the ‘realistic’, 
  • how virtual space can be created through delay, reverberation, texture 
  • . . . and retained (after lossy compression to stereo mp3) for headphone listening
  • and in dramatising the wordless languages of musical dreams from which I often wake to sit staring at the dark. 

At those apparently silent moments, music like this has its beginnings. 

Please spend a few seconds to say what you see/ smell/ think of as you hear this:
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