Alvin Lucier »Music for Piano with One or More Snare Drums« (1990)

for piano and snare drums

for piano and snare drums
for piano and snare drums

German premiere. Piano: Tayuko Nakao-Seibert; sound engineer: Sebastian Schottke

»'Music for Piano With One Or More Snare Drum' is one of a series of works I have written for piano with resonant objects. In »Music For Piano With Amplified Sonorous Vessels« microphones, inserted in small containers placed inside the piano pick up resonances specific to the physical dimensions of the containers, and in »Nothing Is Real«, fragments of a Beatles song are heard flowing from a teapot. In this work, tones from a piano sympathetically resonate snare drums, positioned throughout the space.

The pianist plays a series of notated pitches in chronological order, repeating them in various overlapping patterns. As she does so, the drums respond depending on the pitch of the piano tones, the resonate regions of the drums and their geographical locations in space.

»Music For Piano With One Or More Snare Drums« was written for Hildegard Kleeb and first first performed by her on March 21, 1992, at the Galerie Sou-Sol, Geneva, Switzerland.«

– Alvin Lucier

Video documentary:

ZKM | Videostudio

Camera: Christina Zartmann, Xenia Leidig
Live editing: Andy Koch