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Floating, Drifting (CD Recording)

Pace, I. ORCID: 0000-0002-0047-9379 & Limbrick, S. (2018). Floating, Drifting (CD Recording) Louth Contemporary Music.


The CD Floating, Drifting represents a specially curated programme of five contrasting works each epitomising high degrees of stasis, rejection of conventional musical development in favour of a sustained ‘weightless’ experience. In research terms it distils the results of over a quarter-century of exploration of various key technical and interpretive realms which generally stand outside of more conventional pianistic practice. These include, self-evidently, extreme refinement of touch when playing at very quiet dynamics, as required above all in the Berio and Pisaro works. This draws upon research carried out over years when playing works at extreme low dynamics by other composers including Morton Feldman, Giacinto Scelsi, Howard Skempton, Walter Zimmermann, Michael Finnissy, Salvatore Sciarrino and others. The Berio, Pisaro and Zev Gordon all make use of my own research into the area of ‘key noise’, about which I have written and given various papers, whereby the timbre of a piano note is affected not only by the sound of the hammer hitting the string, but also that of the finger on the key, techniques to affect which enable a very subtle distinction between more pointed and more rounded sonorities at a low dynamic (the former important for the bell-like sounds of the Zev Gordon). The Berio also explores micro-distinctions of voicing, barely perceptible in their own right but vital in order to maintain an apparent sense of tonal balance. The Ligeti is to my knowledge the first recording to take this work at the composer’s metronome mark, and draws upon many years work on refining the execution of detailed ostinato whilst also maintaining independent material in another hand. The John Luther Adams, despite its sustained qualities, involves detailed polyrhythms for both players and important synchronisations, again made possible through drawing upon a reservoir of related experience in quite different music.

Publication Type: Performance
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
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