Texts

Shadow play
for piano and tape, 1992

The composition "Shadow Play" was made in 1992 at the suggestion of American pianist Jeffrey Burns. Like all my compositions of recent years it was worked through exclusively on the computer, which was used both as a kind of simulation tool, enabling me to make all structures instantly audible and comprehensible, and also to generate the electronic parts of the piece. First of all the piano part was "written" into the computer – in a way analogous to the traditional pen and paper method of composition – and then made audible through MIDI and Sampler. For reasons of time precision this was not done using trditional notation, but by means of a kind of bar diagramm script, through which the pitch and, above all, the duration of tones could be more exactly visualised. Transcription into a score readable by the pianist was not made until the composition was finished. Because all the notes of the score were available as MIDI-data, it was possible to construct the tape synchronously by triggering a sampler containing a compilation of processed piano sounds. For the pitch organisation in the sampler I used an eighth tone scale. This way a kind af shadow tonal sequence running directly parallel to the really played piano part was developed. The tape part does not appear on the piano score since Jeffrey Burns plays his entire repertoire, consisting exclusively of contemporary music, by heart, and could study the interaction of notes and tape from the computer simulation available to him.

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