Media Example B1

Memory piece I a in Zürich, Kunstraum Walcheturm, September 2016


Spill is the Duo of Tony Buck, drums and percussion, and Magda Mayas, piano and clavinet, founded in 2003. While I have worked with different Memory Pieces since early 2016, we decided to try and adapt this idea to our duo. While on an artists’ residency at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles, USA, we composed a multichannel playback made out of past performances and played live with it, the drums and piano again in the middle of the room, with four speakers in each corner of the room.

We then performed a second version at Gothenburg University in October 2016, additionally using Tony’s custom-made acoustic mechanical drum machines, which circulate at different speeds and in directions, scraping along and hitting various other percussion objects lying on the floor while they turn. Positioned in different spots of the performance space, they added to the acoustic spatialization and turned the concert into a live installation piece, which we interacted with and performed within.

We decided to use this Memory Piece playback later on in 2017 and recorded a live version with it in the studio. This recording turned into the piece “Magnetic Island” on the

LP "Stereo", which was released in November 2018 on Corvo Records Berlin. The result creates a music with a sense of space and depth and an internal logic, as sounds move from the fore to the background, sweeping across the stereo image in a teeming world of action and reaction, interwoven timbres and fluid resonance.



                 B. Memory piece


Memory Piece is a series of compositions for amplified piano and multichannel playback. Recordings of past performances are superimposed with new live piano playing to trace sonic, spatial, and temporal relationships, which transform the past and create new sonic experiences.

I perform with the amplified piano in the middle of a space, with the audience seated around it and 4 speakers in each of the corners of the room. Documenting the process of performing in this set up, led to the idea of Memory piece: I use segments of these recordings and reorganize them into a sparse composition of past sound events and spaces. This composition is then used as a playback to improvise with in a new multi-speaker piano performance. The speakers project the sound of the live amplified piano as well as the pre-recorded sounds. The playback is regarded as a memory of space, sound, and gesture: it is a timbral memory of a specific experience. The recording and playback used in the piece turns into more than a document of a process—it becomes a memory of a space and my performance within it, encouraging and mediating listening and the comparison of perceptions of “the same work” under different listening conditions and contexts.

There are many different versions of Memory Piece, and the recordings and playback material are still constantly evolving; consequently, I am confronted with new sound environments and my performance within them.

For a detailed discussion of Memory piece see chapter 6 of the thesis.

Media Example B2

Memory piece I a at Gothenburg University, October 2016

Media Example B9

click on the image to play sound file

Media Example B3

Memory piece I b in Melbourne, "Inland Concert Series", January 2017

Media Example B4

Memory piece  II in Berlin, September 2017

Media Example B5

Memory piece II in Gothenburg, October 2017

The audience moved around in the space to experience different spatial and aural perspectives.

Media Example B6

Memory piece III a at Montalvo Arts Center, California, November 2017

Media Example B7

Memory piece III b performed at "The Art of Record Production Conference", Stockholm, December 2017.

Adapted for Lilla salen and the KMH Speaker Dome with 29.4 Speakers. 


Media Example B8

Memory Piece C for clavinet at "Labor Sonor Concert Series", Berlin, May 2018

The Hohner clavinet/pianet is a vintage electroacoustic keyboard with strings, metal chimes, and pickups. I composed this iteration of Memory Piece for the “Labor Sonor” concert series in Berlin in May 2018.