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Composing for Disklavier


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.In fact, more recent in-progress works include "cascades" of so many notes that he had to be careful to make sure the mechanism of the Disklavier wasn't being overloaded. Working at the edge of the technology such as he does, he now documents and writes about the complexities of Disklavier-specific composing so that others learn how to work around the instruments limits. (look for his dissertation at The University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana). Read more on this fascinating composer on his own website, as well as in this blog post covering his residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

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