Black and White
Radio Kamer Filharmonie and pianist Ashley Hribar conducted by Etienne Siebens, “Muziekgebouw aan ’t Y”, 8/9/2006 (The piece was performed during Gaudeamus music week and won the Gaudeamus prize in 2006)
Black and white was written in 2005, for piano and orchestra and explores various dynamic possibilities of static musical structures. The original idea was to treat the orchestra as a live, gigantic low frequency oscillator, contrasting it with a virtuoso but out of tune sounding piano. The piece is constructed of four chords. The string section holds one chord for each of the four sections of the piece with small transitional sections between them. With the varying dynamics of the notes, and the position in space, the sound is indented to move from instrument to instrument and in space. The piano varies the notes of the chords, with a different way in each section, moving independently of the orchestra and functioning more like a ‘continuum’ rather than a solo part. The title of the piece refers basically to my view of the piano as a machine with black and white keys, but also to the extremely contrasting textures between piano and orchestra.
Black and White, sample, 8/9/2006: