MEV'S GLASS PIANO

by Alvin Curran

 

 

When my colleagues and I founded the Musica ElettronicaViva group in Rome (in an old iron foundry in Trastevere) in 1966, Frederic Rzewski declared he would never play the piano again… Instead he had a 60 x 40cm piece of glass cut in the shape of a grand piano seen from above. To this he attached contact microphones and placed it on a small 4 legged object.  His screeching, scratching, and drumming on this fantastic instrument gave the MEV group a most distinct sound.  My concept is to present a similar glass object which instead of being played on, will itself play - via a electronic surface exciter - making the music emerge magically… In short the glass becomes a loudspeaker.

The installation and the event itself recall the 50th anniversary of this renowned group who helped to make "live-electronic-music" a world-wide artistic movement.

The musical sources include a Diskklavier performance of my own “Endangered Species” mixed freely with fragments of MEV’s “Spacecraft” and installation music from my “The Twentieth Century" (1996).

Produced for the Visitazioni Festival in Rome, 2015, with the collaboration of Luca Spagnoletti and Angelo Maria Farro.

photos Susan Levenstein


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