Negative Mirror, Part II
For flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, percussion, and piano with electromagnets
Performed at the Oberlin Conservatory, by
Sarah Pyle, flute; Paul DeRonne, clarinet; Eugene Kim, piano with electromagnets;
Lisa Goddard, violin; Dylan Messina, violoncello; Christian Smith, percussion;
Matthew Chamberlain, conductor
Negative Mirror Part II, like its antecedent Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror Part I, is based on Italo Calvino's novel Invisible Cities. This second installation continues the large-scale form established in the first composition, a form derived from the chapter structure of the novel itself. Part II is essentially a set of variations, manipulating material first encountered in Part I, often recycling the results and subjecting them to further alteration.
Both pieces employ the recently created Electromagnetically Prepared Piano Device, a rack of 12 electromagnets which is placed over the frame of a grand piano, each electromagnet positioned over a string. The string resonances created by this device act as a "supertheme" which moves in and out of the foreground depending on the activity of the other instruments.
Note that although the device is controlled electronically, the resulting sound is entirely acoustic, emanating directly from the piano strings.
Negative Mirror, Part II was commissioned by CCRMA and premiered by the Callithumpian Consort