divided west and (equally)
- Felix Profos
- for grand and electronic piano
divided west and (equally) is an exploration of the possibility of travelling through pitch- and time- space either by means of equally distanced steps or by means of proportional divisions, the premiss being that these two types of division represent two essentially different types of hearing.
The intervals of the octave, fifth and fourth are each divided into scales of 5, 3 (6) and 7 equal steps which along with the tempered chromatic scale provide the 10 equal distance scales that underly the piece. (The rhythmical structure is in principle a mirror of the pitch grid although transformations are effected by mapping the “speed” of one scale onto another.)
The live piano plays a double role of on the one hand taking part in the process of exchanging equal division scales (of the ten available scales the live piano is only capable of playing two – the chromatic and whole tone scales) and on the other that of “interpreting” melodies that result from the interaction of the various equal distance scales in terms of proportions.
An electronic piano tuned so as to be able to play the various equal distance scales is played through two loudspeakers placed inside the piano.
A VISUAL COUNTERPART
After composing the piece I also completed a series of drawing representing the various scales used in the piece and the speed at which they are played – a visual representation of the structure of the music.
I also put together a kind of poem from quotations by Marcel Proust, Milan Kundera & Richard Rorty and added it to the drawings. In this full screen version you can click, tap or swipe your way through the 37 sections at your own speed. In the following video version (with a revised version of the MIDI part from 2010) the drawings fade in and out in time to the music, corresponding to it.