Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Experimental Piano Music


Wednesday the 19th of March. Today I had a regular day at school; Score-reading lesson at 11.30, lunch, correcting the orchestrated version of my song cycle Dagbok and an interesting seminar about experimental piano music.

The seminar about experimental piano music was held by Heini Kärkkäinen (professor of piano) and Hannu Pohjannoro (professor of composition). They discussed Henry Cowell, John Cage, Giuliano Belotti, Magnus Lindbergs Play One, Paavo Heininens three Preludes and Jukka Tiensuus Prélude non-mesuré.

Henry Cowell was in 1910 was one of the first to use the cluster. (Composition teacher Jouni Kaipainen added to this statement that clusters have of course been used since the 17th century now and then, but before only for making a “noice effect”, but Cowell was one of the first to use the cluster for the sake of it’s own, as a own sound. He also developed a new was of rhythmic notation, but it never got established.

About John Cage I learnt that the origin for why he first wrote for a prepared piano was actually pragmatical; he had a performance for some kind of orchestra on a small stage but where percussions didn’t fit in. So by preparing the upright piano that already was on stage, he could use it similarly as he would have used the percussion section. And then of course the professors talked about how Cage likes to use “almost anything” as “note material”, like for instance the star map of Australia.

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