Instrumentation: Piano and Tape
For the entire score and the tape please contact the composer
“Série blanche” belongs to the «series» cycle devoted to piano works. This cycle, which started with “Série noire” in 2005, was commissioned by the Orleans International Piano Competition.
In this cycle, each color provides an opportunity to investigate a particular link of music with image. The latter may be cinematographic or mental; it is a reference space, the writing starting point. This project based on a cumulative writing principle develops the feeling of a meaningless, rather mechanical world.
It might be considered as a possible transcription of “Un Roi Sans Divertissement”, a novel by Jean Giono that was published at the end of the Second World War. In this book and its film adaptation by François Leterrier, absurdity and violence are the result of man boredom. There are pictures of white snow-covered landscapes around a grey village with its black figures. Red is added to this color range only when blood is shed as if it were the only possible way of solving an absurd situation. Music, therefore, is characterized by an apparent nonchalance, by a sort of very simple sweetness, but the layers stack on, every recorded sign remaining and weaving the line of a crescendo that ends in excess.
As Albert Camus did in “L’Etranger”, Giono wrote this book to say the people’s lack of understanding when concentration camps were discovered.
I have written this music to tell the relentless mechanism, which implies the disappearance of our perceptual processes and the gradual erosion to which we are submitted.” (PJ)
Instrumentation: Cello and Piano
Instrumentation: piano – 3 hands
Score (fragment) Buy
Instrumentation: orchestra and electronics
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Score: Fragment Buy
This is surely one of the most charming pieces in Lucier’s œuvre. Fragments from the Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever” are played on the piano and simultaneously recorded. In the second part of the piece, the recording is played back from a small loudspeaker hidden inside a teapot. The sound of the playback is altered by different positions of the lid (e.g., open, closed, partially closed, partially open…) or by lifting the closed teapot off the piano. From time to time even “melodic lines” – as indicated in the score – are created by changing the distance of the lid to the teapot. The curiosity to hear a grand piano from the inside of a teapot is similar to hearing the sound of the Cologne train station inside a thimble, as in CHAMBERS, one of Lucier’s earlier works.
Lucier hides the technical details, and for the listener, the sounds coming from the teapot are somewhat ghostlike. Maybe because of this, the whole situation reminds us of the fairytale “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp”: Alvin and the magic teapot…
Instrumentation: toy piano and cel phones
“Babbling Tower-to-Tower” is a work for toy piano and that other toy that has been a defining part of the “aughties,” the cell phone. For this piece I decided to eschew the many capabilities of the cell phone and use what might be the most neglected feature or “app” available on these devices– the actual ‘phone’ part of the cell phone. Actually, I am making use of the limitations of cell phones, namely their low fidelity and that amount of delay it takes for sound to enter the phone, be transmitted to a tower, relayed to another tower, then back to another phone. While this low sound quality and lack of immediacy are probably things phone makers and service providers are working to remedy, there are some lovely sonic possibilities in these defects.