Curb Weight Surgical Field (2010)
Duo for grand piano and two players. Commissioned by Aiyun Huang and Tom Rosenkranz for the soundScape Festival, Italy.
Curb Weight Surgical Field was composed in memory of great conductor and dear friend J. Karla Lemon. The work is scored for grand piano and two players who alternate turns playing on the upper register of the keyboard and “inside the piano” directly on its strings, soundboard, tuning pins, lid, and casting beams. Scratching, tapping, wiping, plucking, strumming, thumping, and other techniques are explicitly notated, at times in conjunction with a bevy of mallets, chopsticks, plectra, lengths of chain, tennis balls, and other doodads. Throughout the piece the players are called upon to vocalize sounds—tongue clicks, whistles, bilabial lip pops, kissing sounds, noisy inhalations, and short phonemes notated in the international phonetic alphabet—in unison with their piano articulations. Despite its mercurial, glitchy sound world, the piece is very focused, the effect being a compressed, highly disciplined but twitchy ensemble coordination.
Consumption | Why Consumption?
A recording (albeit not supervised by the composer) appears on the accompanying CD Inflorescence: Music from soundScape.