An interactive acoustic piece for pianist, Disklavier, and Max
Composer: Edwin Kenzo Huet
Prism (2014) for pianist, Yamaha Mark IV Disklavier MIDI grand player piano, and custom reactive software written in Max/MSP was a result of my experiments in combining this powerful instrument’s abilities to track key/pedal presses and to play itself. The pianist’s part consists of relatively simple repetitive patterns that are augmented and built upon by a set of adjustable algorithmic processes, bringing out new harmonies, rhythms, and colors, hence the title of the piece. The aim is not to replace classically trained skill or invalidate it, but simply to alter the give-and-take relationship between performer and instrument and to build upon that skill to allow it full control over textures and gestures that would not be possible otherwise. The second movement revolves around one repeated progression that is augmented and transformed more and more throughout the work. This movement is heavily inspired by the film Powers of 10 by Charles and Ray Eames in which the viewer’s perspective is brought in or out by ten times every ten seconds. Within nine breathtaking minutes the viewer is transported from a picnic scene to or the outer reaches of the known universe and back, only to zoom in on a picnicker’s hand and eventually it’s subatomic structure, encompassing our perceived micro and macro boundaries without so much as a shift in focal point.