TITLE: Noise is interrupting my practice: Silence is when my reaction is quiet. Silence is my protest against the way things are.
CAT# (YEAR COMPOSED): 90 (2014)
INSTRUMENTATION: piano & amplification
NOTE: For Pavlos Antoniadis

Noise is interrupting my practice: silence is when my reaction is quiet. Silence is my protest against the way things are

This piece is a reflection of what otherwise remains in danger of going unheard,
Here the ear is trained to hear the small noises of the piano that articulate the boundaries of sound
….. similar to language in which consonants constitute the word boundaries, such as…
noise is layered as unvoiced and voiced pulmonic consonants disturbed by labial and glottal fricatives distributed throughout the soundspace in performance.  Systematic organization of partial and minimal closure (fricatives and approximants) form rows that move to the left. The remaining consonants feature brief to full closure as both occlusives (stops and nasals) and vibrants (trills and taps).

All pulmonic consonants are included in the pulmonic-consonant arrangement so that vibrants and laterals are heightened, assuring that rows reflect the typical pathway of stop → fricative → approximant. The fact that several letters pull double duty as both fricative and approximant implicates affricates by joining stops and fricatives from adjacent cells. Shaded cells represent articulations that are judged to be impossible and thus protest silently.


This piece continues a fascination I’ve had with close microphone techniques – such as a microphone inside or right on the oral cavity or a tuba.

Therefore amplification is not simply making normal sounds louder, but delving into the interior of the power, source, articulators and resonator. The lid should be closed and the pianist will play delicately – almost always softly. But the amplification will be significant and thus the soft sounds will be very prominent. This mic placement will be shown below (forthcoming). The input and output settings are included in the score.

The performance of the piece will require as few as five mics, with someone to control the board. Since the activity of the amplification is quite active, I think of this composition as a duet.