Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
Canadian Electroacoustic Community
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Works » By Title » P » Piano Whales (8:19 / 1987)

David Morris

for piano and tape

“Piano Whales” uses an upright piano. The panels of the piano are removed and long strips of quarter inch mylar electromagnetic tape are woven through the strings of the piano. There are two types of weaving of tape strips, ‘open’ and ‘closed’. ‘Open’ tape strips loop around a single string, and the ends of the tape strip remain free. ‘Closed’ tape strips weave through a number of strings and are spliced onto themselves in order to form a loop. The piece uses three ‘open’ tape strips and two ‘closed’ tape strips. The piece was not scored. Rather, the gross architectural features of it were conceived, as were particular sound patterns, timbres, gestures and bits of dialogue between the channels. The piece was performed with the above compositional conception in mind, and with the aim of evoking the dialogue of whales. The major formal compositional aspect of the piece was the installation of the tape strips; notes had to be selected and particular sonorities and patterns found through experimenting with different weaving patterns. Changes in the sequence and ‘over’ and ‘under’ weaving produce large changes in sound. DM

  • Studio: Private studio

Radio CAP: Piano Whales

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