Future Returns (2005)

(for Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano)

All of the sounds heard in this piece come from only a piano. Crescendos, misty, bell-like sounds, and even a human voice emanate solely from the vibration of the piano's strings. Although this work seems wholly acoustic, the piano's strings are driven by a custom built electrical interface that utilizes a Max/MSP software patch to control 12 electromagnets placed inside of the piano. This short piece came from a quest to demonstrate a new variety of possible piano sounds, and served as grounds for further experimentation with the instrument following its debut in Per Bloland's original composition. In hopes that subsequent performers and composers will continue to create new music through this technology, the piano exclaims:

The future is ever a misted landscape, no man foreknows it, but at cyclical turns
There is a change felt in the rhythm of events.
[Robinson Jeffers]

Performed at the CCRMA Summer Concert in Frost Amphitheater, July 2005. Program Notes: 1 2 3 4
Recorded at The Knoll, June 2008. wav file, mp3 file. Pics: 1 2 3 4
Max/MSP patch here