for piano with two performers and electronics by Aaron Einbond. Performed by Rei Nakamura and Olaf Tzschoppe, production of SWR Experimental Studio and ZKM, 25th November 2014. Binaural mix of multichannel electronics: please listen with high definition headphones.
Cartographies offers a glimpse of listening as it is mediated by technology, time, and space. Two performers act on the inside of a grand piano in a precisely choreographed score exploring the intricate details of the instrument’s structure and acoustics modified by objects and preparations. A network of 12 microphones of different types, placed at different positions inside the piano, project minute sounds into the three-dimensional speaker array of the Klangdom. The contrasting colors of the microphones multiply the varied objects and techniques of the performers into a timbral filigree. The performers’ interactions with the instrument suggest a live sonic sculpture, and the mapping of the delicate amplified sounds around the public an immersive installation. The electronics in turn respond with another mapping of piano samples based on timbre, a spatial Klangfarbenmelodie triggered by the volatile performance. A found sample begins to emerge as well: a sonorization of the Cosmic Microwave Background, the dim glow of radiation that reaches the Earth from distant space. It charts a remote reality that the observer can only indirectly apprehend, like the cartography of the piano that reaches the listener from the Klangdom.