Sound Collage Project – Adam

For my found sound project, I am submitting my concerto for piano and electronics called Unixos. I have spent the last two weeks rigorously creating the electronic backing tracks (and live effects) for the performance and have prepared a full demonstration the piece. These backing tracks use “found sound” and “found media” extensively by both incorporating and manipulating live sound and “remixing” playback from the piano.

Here is the link to the full playlist of the piece:

And here is the link to the scores if you wish to follow along:

Please be aware that not all parts will look exactly as they should because these scores are slightly out-of-date and do not reflect some of my recent changes (for example, please ignore the text in the 20th measure of the 3rd movement).

The total length of the piece is 12 and a half minutes although it may not necessary to listen to the whole thing for the purposes of our class, so in particular I would recommend the third and 5th movement in which I was especially motivated by found-sound. I would be happy if you did decide to listen to the whole thing though and would be open to any thoughts you have!

The tentative premier of this piece is this December.

Below is my artist statement/program notes:

For me, Unixos is a piece concerning transhumanism, or the idea that we can and should use technology to enhance the capacity of the human experience physically, psychologically, and intellectually. Transhumanists believe that the shortcomings in what humans are naturally able to accomplish as well as our propensity for illness and death are, in fact, engineering problems that can be fixed. This idea is very personal to me and I wanted to translate it musically in both a literal and an abstract fashion.

The single performer is, in effect, enhanced, as is the piano itself. The pianist is asked to control all electronics in the piece—many of which serve as alterations or embellishments to the piano sound—with a midi foot pedal notated in the score alongside the standard foot pedals. The pianist is also asked to perform on percussion instruments, play inside the piano, speak text, and even wear fingerless gloves at times to create chromatic glissandos.

Perhaps the most important piece in this puzzle is the unrelenting nature of the music itself, both in the virtuosic and in the psychological sense. As the piece progresses, the pianist must overcome many mental and physical obstacles in order to convey the full experience of the piece.

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