ten monophonic miniatures for solo pianist

Aaron Cassidy

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


Details: This work, for piano with amplified keys and optional video projection, has received six performances by three pianists, including Gaudeamus Music Week, Amsterdam; Bienal Internacional de Musica Y Tecnologia, Mexico City; June in Buffalo, USA. The work was shortlisted for the Jurors' Prize at the 2004 Gaudeamus Music Week.
Context: This work continues the composer's interest in incorporating the physicality of performance as an independent, parametrical compositional stratum. As is true of many of the composer's overtly 'decoupled' works of the last decade, the piano miniatures foreground choreographic movement and energy in the hopes that performative methods and techniques might be afforded a status equivalent to more conventional musical parameters such as pitch, rhythm or timbre. To this end, a variety of unique attack types are employed, incorporating knuckles, fingernails and unconventional playing techniques (for example, aggressively vertical motion towards the keys; attacks with the backs of the fingers, with palms upturned; or a variety of muting techniques that create unpredictable amounts of hammer/string contact). These attack types are more and less audible, depending on context. The instability of their aural significance is entirely intentional textendash this permits an interplay between the physical and the aural, with various choreographic activities influencing the resulting sonic surface to differing degrees. Because of the extensive amplification of the piano keyboard, the method and sonic character of the attack can be 'decoupled' from the sounds emanating from the strings and soundboard, so that, for example, a noisy, sharp attack might only create a small, delicate sound from the strings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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