Étude Théâtrale de l’Exploration du Timbre (Theatrical Study on the Exploration of Sound)
|Period of creation||2008-05-19 to 2008-08-29, revision: 2009-10-28 to 2009-11-22 and 2009-12-18 to 20.|
|Duration||10 min 10 sec.|
|Commission / occasion||Commissioned by the Swedish pianist Hans Pålsson for his piano students.|
The main idea behind the piece is a systematic exploration of the timbral and theatrical potential of extended playing techniques on the piano and their fusion into a musically coherent and formally dramatic event.
The piece is structured according to Fibonacci numbers and divided into 6 sections, of which the enframing sections (1+6) are played on the keyboard, the adjacent sections (2+5) on the strings and the mid sections (3+4) on the body of the instrument.
Three parameters are formally developed in quite continuous, but different ways: The density of sound production is beginning on a very low level and gradually increasing in the first three sections, the other way round in the last three ones. The resonance, supported by the sustaining and the sostenuto pedals, proceeds in the opposite direction, i. e. decreasing in sections 1-3 and increasing in sections 4-6. Dynamics, finally, run in waves, beginning “sffz” in section 1, then falling to “pp” at the beginning of section 2, rising again to “sffz” at the beginning of section 3 and so on. These opposing developments generate a permanent fluctuation of the perceptive focus and, not least, a slight surprise at every transition point from one section to another.
However, there is a clear anticlimax at the golden section between parts 3 and 4, contrasted by two strong theatrical climaxes due to a “total cluster” in the very beginning and its recurrence in the very ending.
The relatively quick changes of tools of sound production by the pianist refine the timbral repertoire and augment the theatrical effect on the visual perception of the spectator. The preparation of the strings focuses on percussive and gonglike sounds free of rattling.
|2009-06-03 + 06||Håkan Quennerstedt
Malmö Academy of Music (Swe) – studio recording
Malmö Academy of Music (Swe)
Malmö Academy of Music (Swe) – world premiere
Malmö, 2009-06-03+06 (studio);
bars 31-40, 51-60, 147-156, 170-176;
duration: 1 min 54 sec.
Håkan Quennerstedt (pf);
bars 1-19, 53-62, 170-187;
duration: 3 min 13 sec.