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The Space of Two Frames // 2019

Voice, Piano, and Electronics

Duration // 8'

for Duo Illegal

Written for Duo Illegal’s May 2019 residency at Stanford University, The Space of Two Frames is a work composed for voice, piano, and electronics. Thematically, in this work I am trying to explore the ways in which the unconscious mind exerts its influence over our own present thoughts and mental state, specifically as it relates to conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Compositionally, the work is focused on the interactions and relationships between the three voices, and the agency with which these entities act. At times, one voice may seek to exert control over the situation through brute force, while at other moments the relationship may be one of ambivalence or submission, and further states in which the context is intentionally nebulous. Ultimately, this manifests as a work which is at times gestural and chaotic, and which at others is recursive and static, and which further explores the gradations between these states.

This concept is augmented musically through a number of technical elements which are utilized in the performance of this work. These technical implements include computer-controlled motors and transducers placed inside of the piano, which utilize the piano as a resonating body, and which are further mediated through physical action. Additionally, the vocalist has microphones attached to the palms of their hands; purposefully presenting a situation in which their own voice is most successfully amplified, and transduced into the piano, by a physical action which would otherwise be most emblematic of smothering one’s voice. The electronics for this work are presented in eight-channels as both mediated fixed-media and real-time processing, and are predominantly constructed from the sounds of the human voice, piano, and paper materials.

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