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20 Etudes for Piano by Philip Glass

MON Sept. 11, 2017, 7:30 PM-10:00 PM, POSTCITY Ground Floor / Train Hall

Credit: Maki Namekawa

Maki Namekawa (JP), Cori Olan (AT)

The Twenty Etudes for Piano were composed during the years from 1991 to 2012. Their final configuration into Book 1 and Book 2 was determined by the music itself in the course of its composition. Taken together, they suggest a real trajectory that includes a broad range of music and technical ideas. In the end, the etudes are intended to be appreciated not only by the general listener, but especially by those who have the ability and patience to learn, play and perform the music themselves.

20 Etudes for 20 Etudes

Twenty real-time parameter-driven visualizations for Philip Glass’s Twenty Etudes for Piano performed by Maki Namekawa

The visualizations can be considered as etudes themselves, exploring visual and time-based relationships between basic topics like pattern and form, symbol and language as well as time and space, motion and position. Most of the pieces work with real-time-generated CGI, with a strong and immediate response to the music based on a comprehensive analysis of the audio signal from two microphones close to the piano. Some are combinations of CGI with photography or video and two use only video but with variations in the playback speed and the triggering of cue points controlled by the live music.

The visualizations, quite like the etudes themselves, have not been developed in their numerical sequence, but when we started to perform the complete etudes most visualizations were modified and some were completely remade to create a more intuitive flow.

The complete set of all twenty visualized etudes was premiered in February 2017 at National Sawdust, New York.