un-Prepared piano

Primitive for string un-prepared piano

In an attempt to recreate a digitally prepared piano, I decided to ‘prepare’ a piece by John Cage, Primitive (1942) with only 13 preparations over 11 notes.

Score: .pdf


A ChucK patch using basic MIDI input framework and an array of SndBufs that play a set of prepared piano samples I recorded on the Yamaha Disklavier in CCRMA’s Stage  for this project.

For each of the 13 prepared notes, I recorded six samples: 3 short samples (soft, medium, hard) and 3 long samples (soft, medium, hard). In this way the unique resonant characteristics of each preparation can be heard with each varying amount of energy put into the system. I performed the piece on the same piano, in the same space on a concert on December 9, 2015. For the performance only the long samples were used, with envelopes triggered by the MIDI input’s keyOn and keyOff data. The velocity of the incoming MIDI note determined which of the three different velocities samples were used and then scales their volume appropriately.

ChucK Patch: primitive.ck


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