Shadows (2015), for Solo Piano

Duration: about 18 minutes

Please contact me for performance materials.


In Shadows, the pianist reads an open-form score from a laptop screen, choosing his own path through a series of connected musical fragments. At the same time, the laptop listens to the pianist, tracks the decisions he makes about what to play, and constantly updates the score in response. This dialogue between pianist and computer, actuated through a dynamic score, serves to amplify the expressive decisions made by the pianist, to subtly push him in new musical directions, and to create large-scale structural arcs in the music.

Shadows consists of four movements, each of which explores the pianist-computer-score interaction from a different perspective:

I. Traces. The score consists of twelve chords followed by their echoes. The speed at which the pianist moves from chord to chord affects how much of the score is displayed and how much is hidden.

II. Chorale. The pianist plays from a selection of five chords and three embellishment notes. Each time a chord or note is played, its harmonic density and complexity is changed.

Performance History

Melvin Chen, Bard College, November 2015.

Melvin Chen, Yale University, December 2015.

Tim Whitehead, Sonic Generator, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, May 2016.

Ninon Gloger, Sound and Music Computing / STREAM Festival, Hamburg, September 2016.