The Adventures of Norby (2007)
for piano and electronics
Keith Kirchoff, pianist & composer
When I was a child, one of my favorite books to read was a series of science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov entitled Norby, the Mixed-Up Robot. Although I remember very little of these books, the title character still holds a very sentimental part of my heart. In the books, Norby and his boy owner would travel the galaxy, inevitably get in to trouble, and somehow always manage to save the day. "The Adventures of Norby" is a theatrical work for piano and pre-recorded electronics that chronicles the exploits (unrelated to the novels) of Norby.
The piece is very visual, and to be most effective, it must be seen in person, which I suppose makes it an unintentional statement on the societal obsession over recordings. During the piece, the pianist taps various parts of the case with his/her hands and fists, plays drumsticks on the floor, uses hard mallets inside the piano on the iron frame and the strings, and also improvises. The piece also blends several musical genres together.
This piece was released on the SEAMUS label in 2009.
Score and electronics are available upon request.