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The Disklavier Frontier

Posted by on in The Disklavier Frontier

Award-winning
composer John Nichols, III first wrote for the Disklavier to create Pillars (excerpted above), which won the Conlon Music Prize in 2013. Though Pillars was written more or less within the scope of what someone could play with two hands, Nichols' subsequent works have challenged that notion altogether.

Canadian pianist Eve Egoyan, widely known for shattering genres with performances of contemporary works. Earwitness is a set of performance projects specifically using Disklavier, in which Egoyan has either commissioned or collaborated with visual artists for a completely immersive experience. 
Tagged in: Artists Events Ideas
Most of our DEN discussions about composition involve how to make the Disklavier most accurately record or perform in special circumstances. Many composers like to use Disklavier to explore rhythms and speeds that are beyond human playability. We've dealt with MIDI ins and outs, prepared strings, algorhythmic mutations of playing, you name it. 

Composer Hans Tammen turns all of that exactitude on its head, exploring the sonic creations made possible by the LIMITS of the Disklavier's own mechanical elements. In Music for Choking Disklavier (2006, Clang) Tammen built projects in the authoring environment Max/MSP to tax the Disklavier BEYOND its limits of velocity and data. In some moments the volume is set too low to make the hammers actually strike strings, producing extended spans of muted rhythmic thumping. In others, data overload causes the Disklavier to "choke", punctuating spans of silence with clumps of note-data all at once. The result is an eerie soundscape with its own beauty and interest. Don't take our word for it, though--listen for yourself!

What's the most unusual thing you've ever done with a Disklavier? Let us know! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Beijing-LiYanZhuo2015-smallAre you on the faculty of an institution that attracts students from across the country or from around the world? Is it a challenge for prospective students to visit your school and audition in person?

Or do you teach students who are preparing for college auditions? Do you want to help them audition for admission or scholarships at schools outside of your geographic region?

The Disklavier Education Network offers student pianists the opportunity to audition for admission to undergraduate and graduate music programs by recording their audition on a Disklavier PRO piano, complete with synchronized video. These recordings capture every detail of a performance--over one thousand increments of measurement scrutinize every keystroke and hammer strike. Even the pedals are recorded incrementally, maintaining all the subtlety and character of the original performance.
Last year's DEN Audition participants were able to choose from many new recording sites, including several locations abroad. This increase in participation and wider adoption of the technology has even caught the attention of mainstream press. Check out this article by FastCompany's Sean Captain, who recently interviewed DEN consultant George Litterst on the program (click to read the entire article at FastCompany):
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