Sounds from Underground (2014), a piece in 3 movements for prepared piano, computer-controlled electromagnets and strings.
This work is inspired by a quote from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s book Notes from Undergound, from the mid of 1860s:
“Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind, which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in is mind.”
In this composition I explored unusual ways of playing the instruments. Whereas some notes of the piano are muffled with earplugs inserted between the strings inside the instrument, other notes are played by means of magnetic resonators. American composer and engineer Andrew McPherson, built me an array of computer-controlled electromagnets, which I placed inside of the piano to vibrate the strings. They vibrate the strings of the piano independently of the hammers, affording new and yet beautiful sonorities on the piano, all controlled during the performance via a bespoke piece of software.
Sounds from Underground was developed in collaboration with pianist Luciane Cardassi, during a residency at Banff Centre, Canada.