InstrumentationAmplified Prepared Piano and Electronics
Resonance Modes comes with a Max/MSP patch for triggering the electronics. It can be played by the pianist alone using a bluetooth foot pedal or by an additional performer. You will need a copy of Max/MSP on a laptop, which is available for free (You can run and edit Max patches. Saving is disabled.).
Resonance Modes was inspired by a completely imaginary and impractical preparation of the piano, one that I never actually intended to use, but seemed like an interesting starting point for the piece. I imagined hundreds of small liquid mercury droplets being poured into the piano and dancing on the sounding board and strings in beautiful and interesting ways. Although impossible for several obvious reasons (principally, the health and safety of the performer, the audience, and the piano!), this idea came from mercury’s relatively unique properties, namely the high density and surface tension which cause it to resonate at different frequencies in beautifully different ways. One droplet of mercury can be transformed into thousands of different shapes when vibrating at various frequencies, and certain frequencies take on particularly interesting characteristics because of the resonance modes. Rather than explain resonance modes in detail, you can see mercury’s resonance modes in action here, which I think will illustrate the relationship to the piece more vividly. In the piece, I dwell on a small set of pitches and timbres which are slowly transformed primarily through rhythmic processes as a way of exploring these imaginary resonance modes over time.
PremiereMay 20, 2014 by Jeannette Fang | University of Michigan School of Music | Stamps Recital Hall | Ann Arbor, MI
Commissioned byJeannette Fang
- Voyages (2016) | Khemia Ensemble | Self-Released