Work » Projects » between charm and the constant laws of motion 2016

My childhood memories of practicing frequently return to interactions with my mother’s mechanical metronome, later to be replaced by the synthetic ticks of a more precise and yet eminently less satisfying electronic device. I am fascinated by these images of practice and the measurement of our actions in time, and how they can bridge private spaces of rehearsal to more public ones of performance.

between charm and the constant laws of motion playfully takes up these tensions by including the sounds of practice (etudes recorded in one’s home) juxtaposed with live performance as well as historical arguments about the metronome’s place in musical expression as presented in Roger M. Grant’s work “Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era”. These sounds are placed directly inside the piano, and provide much of the musical score and instruction from which the musicians perform.

between charm and the constant laws of motion was originally commissioned by the Bloomingdale School of Music as part of Album for the Young. Many thanks to Yvonne Troxler and her students Alexis Carel and Rebecca Friedman for premiering the piece as well as recording the etudes that form the electronic tracks played inside the piano. My sincere gratiude to my colleague Roger Grant, who recorded similar vocal etudes drawing from his text, also included in the recorded elements of the piece, as well as to Yvonne Troxler for developing many of the idiosyncratic techniques for piano preparation used in this piece.


prepared piano and miniature electronics