Piano & Live Electronics – Rafael Subía V.

Hey everybody, here is the link to my piece that we will be listening on Wednesday, Audio-Vide- and score.




About s1469080

Born in Quito, Ecuador in 1985, he graduated from Quilmes National University in Argentina as an Electro acoustic Composer. His music has been played in different festivals in Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, Germany & South Africa by important ensembles and performers. He won different grants in Quilmes National University allowing him to investigate as well as to teach in different areas. He studied composition with Julio Martín Viera and with Gerardo Gandini thanks to the Melos/Gandini fellowship.

4 thoughts on “Piano & Live Electronics – Rafael Subía V.

  1. Rafael – “Chiral”
    • Chiral in chemistry means the structure and its mirror image are not superimposable
    • piece deals with symmetry and asymmetry
    o we see this immediately in the use of chords of the same intervallic structure but reflected in mirror image between the two hands
    • i.e. M2nd at top in RH, at bottom in LH
    yet these are not truly symmetrical structures as their different registers mean we’ll have different resonance and overtone structures
    • 3 sections
    o section 1
    • introduces the materials
    • wide pitch relationships leading to the perception of isolated notes more than connected melodic material
    but this is contrasted with
    • note repetition
    • bars 2, 11, 17…
    muted notes
    constant dynamic variation
    • bar33+ more consistently quiet
    antiphonal or generally reactive use of computer
    • (call and response)
    o bar 44
    • section 2
    • “selected resonance” chords
    • some notes removed, some hang on
    • more uniformity
    o bar 59
    • section 3?
    • (no double bar)
    • looks at techniques/materials more in isolation
    • introduced by harp figures
    • as taken up by computer
    • high monophony
    • filigree
    • (ornamental, delicate)
    • bar 62
    • the fulfillment of the repeated notes from the first page
    o bar 75
    • hints of a 4th section (with more movement)
    • but not fully realised
    o 96 bars total
    • summary
    o pros
    • a coherent form with varied techniques in quick succession contrasted later with more isolated and deeper investigations of the materials
    takes several historically significant views of the piano
    • as a melodic instrument
    • as a harmonic instrument
    • as a percussion instrument
    • as a resonance instrument
    • (inside piano)
    never really predictable yet stays within the worldview presented in the first few bars.
    some beautiful reactive processing
    • creating distance effects between the piano (foreground) and effects (distance)
    o cons
    • mainstream post-50s aesthetic
    • unpredictable rhythm
    • lack of meter, beat
    • harmonic world based around minor 9ths and related intervals
    • well-trodden territory by now
    • electronics on the whole too much in the background
    • processes have the potential to come forward, but don’t
    • some of the electronics sound very ‘classic’
    • like kontakte
    • it’s the sound quality to an extent
    • but also level
    • doesn’t really ever get moving

  2. The Concept:
    The title was intriguing to me, when I discovered what ‘Chiral’ meant I liked the concept as regards inspiration for a piece of music which involved acoustic sound duetting with electronic sound. I read about chirality and began to visualise images around the concept.

    The Instrumentation:
    I like the set up of an acoustic instrument with an electronic ‘partner’. In this piece I felt it worked particularly well as there were so many extended techniques written for the piano that at times, without the benefit of seeing the score, the sounds were almost indistinguishable. I particularly enjoyed the moments where certain paused chords had an ‘effect’ applied which really exploited the overtones . eg bar 82
    The electronic sounds applied enhanced, contrasted and at times added articulation to the live piano sounds, as well as providing their own timbre.

    The Writing:
    I felt the relationship between the two instruments was very organic and evolved throughout the piece. Some elements appear to be random events, but then a repetition occurs and tiny fragments of motif are shared between the two forces. The piano appears to be dominant at the the start, and gradually this decays and is punctuated more by electronic sounds. For me the instruments do have an equitable balance overall in the piece.
    An overall perspective of this work is that it appear very free, almost improvised,and very random, but we know it is not. The minutia of the score makes this apparent, and the inability to manipulate the electronic/ pre-prepared sounds to the degree that the live instrument can be performed is not possible. However, the sympathetic manipulation of the live piano sound mixed and effected blends the two sides together fairly seamlessly, still, the pianist may find it difficult at points to pick up on some of the ‘cues’ eg bar 13,57 and ensure that sync. occurs.
    The score itself is clear and the pictorial style of the symbols are descriptive and well placed.
    The writing is very textural, and after an analysis I was satisfied that it did not have any serial elements.
    The sound-worlds created could be considered descriptive of the subject matter, elements of symmetry are apparent, perhaps equal and opposite actions/reactions?

    One movement
    3 or 4 sections?
    pulse throughout is fairly constant only slight variation. I don’t believe that the pulse is the most important aspect of the piece- merely a unit of measurement.
    from bar 50-64 there is a distinct change and a shift in the variety and dominance of the sounds. This is a period of transition and the sounds feel more spacial and almost suspended.
    From bar 62 there are much fewer pedal piano sounds the electronic sounds too portray a much more ethereal quality, certainly from bar 75.
    At the last change of tempo at bar 87 towards the end of the piece, there are fewer distinct pitches and rhythms. The feeling is very much more settled and less disturbances create a calm equilibrium.

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