I have been swimming in scores,graphs and sketches for my new piece for JACK Quartet and myself. I struggled to identify where I should go with this work but finally decided to go in a completely different direction than the work-in-progress showing. After focusing on toy pianos intensively for the last ten years, I have discovered many surprising timbres and qualities that have yet to be organized into a piece. Here are my program notes for the piece:
The toy piano was never presented to me as a musical instrument but rather, I stumbled upon it as an unassuming object that ignited my musical imagination. For the last fifteen years, I have spoken about the toy piano as a “musical” found object, using it alongside other miniature instruments and gadgets. In this piece, I’ve decided to return to this original place of entry and explore the toy piano as a found object. By exploring its elements, hearing its raw essences and noises, the bare materials of the toy piano are exposed and brought to light. With newly invented techniques, I am not creating “extended techniques” but rather, stripping the piano down to its most basic essence, it’s simple and imperfect materials: plywood, plastic and metal. Each element is revealed in isolation, using JACK as extra hands-both as bows and fingers- to explore the foreign territories of the toy piano.