A Turn For the Strange

:: After fall quarter, I decided to drop American Sign Language; it was a great experience, but not really what I wanted to go to school for. I needed a more focused direction for my education than that. So I talked to Terry and was lucky enough to slip into an open spot in his other program, Music Composition Intensive. Although there is plenty of music theory, this class takes more of a look at contemporary methods of composing music. Our first project was one for prepared piano (for examples, look up works by John Cage). The basic premise of this form is not to focus so much on making sound by striking the keys of the piano (although that can certainly be part of the piece) but by manipulating the strings and/or body of the piano to create weird tonality. Felt can be woven between strings, mallets can be used to strike them, small iron rods can be placed across them, whatever results in a sound that the composer likes. My first (and possibly only) prepared piano piece is entitled "Schrodinger's Cat"; if you know the term, then you may be able to figure out the meaning behind each of the four short "movements". I recorded this with a Marantz PMD660 in stereo using two EV RE15's, both about a foot away from the strings at a 20 degree angle to them, one pointing at the bass section nearer to the single-strung notes and one at the treble section by the curved indent in the body ::

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