Piano piece. Geometry, repetition, pattern and minimalist use of negative space.

Please click this link to hear the short piece on Soundcloud

I Created this for piano, a minimalist type structure with only several notes repeating but the notes are slightly off on every other repitition. When I say off I mean the sequence not the key. I wrote this in response to much of the minimalist art I was looking at and reading about in Matthew Collings book, 'This Is Modern Art'. This is a book on a module reading list. The same techniques of space and repitition are used in music as in minimalist art. Steve Reich is a particularly strong example as is Phillip Glass, Terry Riley and in my opinion also John Adams. There are many more but these are the leading figures in that minimalist field. There is controversy over the use of the minimalist term to music as composers dislike their music belonging to certain types much more so than say visual artists who often readily accept the labelling of their art in certain ways.

My piano piece is designed to replicate for me the confusing nature of negative space being bigger (or more important) in minimalism than the primary object. There is a sense of having to get used to experiencing these invisible relationships and how they harmoniously aid to balance and message when done properly. I have been looking at early 20th century art to explore the founding ideas of specific geometry in certain art movements such as those in the Suprematist movement and going right through to artists such as Robin Rhode who is very attached to classical ideas of geometry.

I think music can express these complex ideas and the sense of disorientation in the piece is meant to confuse the listener into wondering if they are listening to a repetitive tune (the object) or if they are hearing things that are not there (negative space). The piano repitition with a contrasting beat makes finding a focus point to listen to very difficult. This is what intrigues me about minimalist art and I personally find it a very absorbing topic. The spaces between objects where the artist appears silent is for me a fascinating place.

 

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