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Two Studies
for solo MIDI-controlled piano

Work nos. 108 & 109
2017

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    The landlord texted me one morning and said he could no longer rent the apartment out. Looking for a new place was stressful enough – having lived in one place for six years – but the move was even more nerve-racking. On the day of the move, I remember I woke up, I was looking at the ceiling, and I felt like I wanted to scream – this is how frustrating it was. And the two studies for MIDI-controlled piano were composed during that time. I was surrounded by packing crates, sheets of cardboard waiting to be made into boxes, huge bundles of packing paper, plastic wrap, bubble wrap. The apartment looked like a mess, furniture dismantled, pictures taken off the walls. It used to be my home, but now it felt completely alien.

    I remember thinking, "I should compose something. Anything. If my home no longer exists, at least I will know I still exist." The first Study was composed on the last day in the old apartment, and the second during the first couple of days in the new apartment, still surrounded by crates. The gist of the technique here is, the MIDI has to be adjusted by the performer – I guess you could call them a... MIDI programmer? Arpeggio lengths, pauses, rates of acceleration and deceleration all can be adjusted. I didn't particularly want to make music only playable by a computer – just music which would include passages impossible for a human being. It'd be pretty boring to just concentrate on the humanly impossible stuff – I know. I tried.


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