Participating in the Installation/Performance of get used to it man thats the way we live now
Fifteen pianists will collectively realize the entire piece. They do so by recording and uploading to our platform multiple takes of their assigned sections, as explained below.
To begin with, let's clarify how we use the terms fragment, section and assignment.
A fragment is a basic unit of the piece, defined by 4-digit numbers as can be seen in the score, from 5918 - 5967 in part 1, and 5968 - 6078 in part 2. (As to why it starts with 5918, there's no good answer so don't ask!)
In most cases a section consists of a pair of fragments. In a few instances, where fragments are unusually long, a section may consist of only a single fragment. And in a very few instances a section consists of three fragments.
At the end of a fragment the computer analyzes aspects of the just completed performance. As explained elsewhere on this site, these analyses influence the sound of any electronics that apply to the next fragment. Thus in a given pair of fragments (i.e. in most cases, a section) how the first fragment is played influences the sound of electronics applied to the second fragment -- in most cases played by the same pianist. Performance analysis of the second fragment influences the electronics that apply to the first fragment of the next section, which will be played by a different pianist.
An assignment is our term for the entire group of sections played by one pianist. There are 30 sections in part 1, thus each assignment consists of two sections each uniquely played by one of the 15 pianists. There are 60 sections in part 2, accordingly four sections per assignment / pianist.
The sections are of somewhat variable length and difficulty. However, the assignments in totality have been chosen as far as possible to be, first and foremost, of equal challenge and variability with respect to demands of virtuosity. In other words, within an assignment there will be some sections especially challenging, balanced with others we expect will be easier to learn. We have tried our best to equalize the demands upon all participating pianists.
You will see that the location within the entire score of sections that comprise the assignments is considerably different among them. Our top priority was equal distribution of the overall demands. That balancing required some selections comprising an assignment to be closer to each other (in the piece overall), and some selection groups further from each other. That said, we were also mindful of choosing the selections within each assignment group to cover as much of the total score as possible. (This is true separately for the assignments for part 1 and part 2.)
The selection process
Part 1 and part 2 each have 15 assignments. There are 15 colors used that layer over the applicable sections of the score, highlighting the various assignments. Each color in effect represents the pianist who will record multiple takes of his/her assignments. If you are a participating performer, you will learn and record your assignments, which are designated here by a specific background color overlaid on the score.
Part 1 and 2 are to be selected independently. There is no suggestion of coordinating a particular color (group of sections) associated with the 15 assignments of part 1, with your preferences for part 2.
Deciding which assignments appeal to you most is a subjective choice. We take no position on which are more or less suitable for any particular performer. We expect that you will select whichever ones interest you the most, and which you believe you will execute best.
There are two alternative options: "Choose for me", and "choose for me except" up to three of the assignments. In the event you don't feel strongly about which group of sections you are assigned, except that there may be up to three you feel strongly you do not want to play, please choose this option.
We invite you to use the Selection Tool to make your choices. Here's how it works:
To consider a given collection of sections (an assignment), select a color. You can scroll through the score, use the drop downs at the Select tabs, or click on the top color bar (which represents the sections). Whichever method you choose, the music that comprises those sections will highlight. You can advance as you like and stream any and all sections for your consideration.
Parts 1 and 2 are separate scrolls and assignments. Participating pianists must select from both parts (in either order).
At any point when you feel ready to make your selections, submit your first, second and third choices. Once you choose to set up an account, you will then have the opportunity to retain your selections and of course return at any other times and if you wish, make new selections.
Naturally we will try to assign everyone their first choice. However, there is no way we can foresee how it will play out. If there are multiple participants all making the same sets of choices, then we'll have to introduce something of a "luck of the draw" protocol.
We will not be making any decisions until all participants have had time to review and convey their preferences. A deadline will be posted down the road.
The recordings will take place starting in the Fall 2021. Precise timelines will be posted.
The full score is downloadable at this time. You can save the file and print.
Note that the scores that scroll for streaming on our website do not use octava for multiple ledger-line notes. The reason in part is that octava can confuse the sampler, and in part because not using octava gives a better sense of the spatial disposition of notes. However, when learning to play, many musicians prefer octava to reading multiple ledger lines. For that reason you will find two versions of the score available, one with octava to reduce ledger lines, and one without.
Note on the octava versions: It is not always possible to avoid ledger lines. You may notice what seems to be some inconsistency how octava is applied. It is decided on a case by case basis factoring in overall clarity of the score.
You may also note that on occasion notes best played by the right hand appear in the lower staff, and vice versa. Wherever possible note placement is meant to conform to expectations of which hand is likely to play them, but at the same time often in the interests of clarity of voice leading or rhythm an "inverse" disposition of the notes is indicated.
At the time you want to convey to us your selections, you will need to set up your account. Until then you are free to experiment with the Selection tool and get familiar with the music.
Please be assured we welcome all questions, feedback and advice. We have tried to come up with the best way to manage this, but it is not a competition with rules. We will be delighted to take direction from participants as we go.
Note: We anticipate that along with an Installation/Performance there will be a visual display, something like 15 screens (sometimes appearing as separates and at other times merging to one large) that will show the pianist who recorded the section as it is realized on the Steinway Spirio. That does not imply video of the pianists specifically engaged in performing -- it could include that, but in most cases we anticipate the visuals will be of something other than a person at the keyboard. The project will be collaborating with a video artist who will realize the visual design, so we won't speculate too much here. But just to say that the goal of the visual element is to reveal something about the character of each pianist whose performances are at that moment being realized. How best that can be accomplished is a matter to be determined by others with more expertise in this realm.
Down the road
The immediate goal is to bank recordings of all the fragments in the work in order to realize Installation/Performances at venues anywhere a hosting institution chooses to present. At some point further in the future, in the event one or more performers choose to present the entire piece in concert (the more customary recital format), data from the many banked recordings will, just as is the case for the Installation/Performance, impact the electronics that associate with the live performance. More detail on this will be posted in the future.
© currawong project 2021