Inspired by the work of James Tenney, György Ligeti, Charlemagne Palestine, and Conlon Nancarrow, Seth Horvitz’s Eight Studies for Automatic Piano makes use of simple, computer-aided compositional processes to test the limits of human perception and machine precision. It relies on a bare minimum of technical means to explore notions of temporal distortion, iterative process, and elegant complexity. Presented in an immersive concert setting without the presence of a human performer, Eight Studies questions traditional notions of live performance and musical “life.”
– Please DOWNLOAD the Listener’s Guide containing detailed descriptions and visual scores for each piece.
– VIEW VIDEOS of performance excerpts of Eight Studies for Automatic Piano
[A] IDEALIZED SYMMETRICAL FORM: The highest level of symmetry and objective process is maintained, the final result resembling an idealized mathematical form.
[B] CONSTRUCTED BINARY FORM: A basic, repeating shape is introduced and systematically layered, transposed, and rhythmically offset against itself. Following the exposition, the length of each repeating shape is incrementally shortened, producing a rhythmic phasing process.
[C] INTUITIVE LINEAR FORM: Intuitively generated elements are introduced linearly, above a steady pulse. No systematic transformations occur with the exception of gradual increases or decreases in velocity.
[D] INTUITIVE TRANSFORMATIONAL FORM: Systematic transformations of a basic, repeating shape are applied intuitively, sometimes haphazardly. Suggestions of form and structure are led by the outcome of the transformations.
LIVE . Seth Horvitz’ Eight Studies for Automatic Piano @ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Nov 1, 2012
LIVE . Seth Horvitz’ Eight Studies for Automatic Piano @ Phi Centre (Montreal). Nov 10, 2012