Many Worlds Game – Spoon (2011)

Composed for the 4th UnCaged Toy Piano Competition. It's one of my most experimental pieces: an attempt to make a musical equivalent of a videogame, and also a piece that would be a world apart from other music. Both ideas were inspired by the use of toy instruments, as stipulated by the rules of the competition. I misread those and had to come up with two game ideas instead of one. The score of MWG–S was finished in a hurry, my wife making the drawings on A3 format paper while I finalized the instructions.

The performer is required to improvise short melodic and noise fragments according to sequences outlined in the graphic score. These sequences frequently overlap, creating passages where two, three, or more actions must be performed simultaneously, or in quick succession, playing several instruments at the same time. Any mistakes made may either interrupt a performance and force the performer to restart playing a level, or simply are incorporated into the piece as necessary details. As in videogames, later levels are more difficult.

PDF scores:
  – Many Worlds Game – Spoon: Instructions and Melodies
  – Many Worlds Game – Spoon: Score

Many Worlds Game – Spoon spawned a number of satellite pieces. The simplest one is Many Worlds, in which the melodies of the original are performed separately, and numerous opportunities to ignore or re-interpret the existing notes are given. The second piece, Beaters, also treats the melodies of MWG–S, but builds a whole game—with several gameplay modes—out of them. It can be performed by one or two players.

PDF scores:
  – Many Worlds
  – Beaters (A3 format)

A later addition to this family of pieces was Acacia Variations. These are simultaneous variations on all six melodies of Many Worlds Game – Spoon, with each melody receiving a particular variation technique, their fragments making up a mosaic. Bits and pieces of music are highlighted and expanded by the pianist whistling (or a suitable substitute for the sound).

PDF score | MP3 audio