Pianos without Organs: performance production//piano mutations//zombie musicology



(Follow button to David Pocknee's research published in CeReNeM Journal #5)

Never the same piano twice.. A midi rendering of Beethoven's 16th piano sonata that is retuned based on key usage. Durations are totaled for each key as they are depressed over the course of the piece. Based on inequities in the results, those frequency bandwidths associated with the most used keys expand displacing those keys that receive less attention. Because those keys most used lie in the middle register, the bandwidth of the piece is narrowed considerably, with dense micro-intervals over the well tread middle register and larger leaps between keys as it moves closer to the periphery. Special thanks to Chris Kimmons for his work on this project.

What some dead white guys did is a multimedia performance and production series based on a technique of deformation of keyboard surface first outlined in David Pocknee's article of the same title. Ultimately, the project calls for:

  1. A .midi library of entire swaths of classic repertoire re-performed with the distorted bandwidths remapped to the keyboard (the first iteration of which is embedded here)

  2. A performance series featuring live performances from renowned pianists on the deformed keyboards, as well as a series of recordings.

  3. A sculpture exhibition of 3-d printed re-sized keys installed on actual pianos and color-coded heat maps 

The 2016 PwO Festival


Sponsored by a 2016 New Music USA Project Grant, the PwO Festival took place from the 7th-9th of October, 2016 at picturesque Greywalls Hall in Raleigh, NC. PwO commissioned nine new works and presented an entire weekend of NC premieres for computer-controlled acoustic instruments and human performers. PwO was thrilled to present the following artists:
  • Alejandro Rutty
  • Anatoly Larkin
  • Angela Guyton
  • Bryan Jacobs 
  • Craig Bove
  • Daniela Amórtegui
  • David Pocknee
  • Eleanor Cully
  • Eli Namay
  • John Starosta
  • Jorge Boehringer
  • Hans Tammen
  • Lee Weisert
  • Phil Sudderberg
  • Seth Parker Woods
  • Zenph Performance Technologies

Photos from PwO 2016: