G. Piano Mapping
The impulse to engage with spatiosonic movement in my practice probably emerged from the nature of the grand piano itself: it is a massive, static, and immobile instrument, which usually remains in one fixed position. Having begun to interact with microphones and speakers, I wanted to expand my performance through improvising with piano maps, which would allow me to decide where a sound comes from and when, and to use this as a compositional element, as a score, perhaps.
“Piano Mapping” is an approach to spatial composition in my performance, by means of a mapping and unfolding of space and sound relationships and a choreographing of timbre in space. In this, I use a custom-built spatialization device, which allows me to decide where a sound happens and when and how, during this event, I can shape its timbral qualities.
I amplify the piano with four to six microphones within a multiple speaker set up, with the piano in the middle of the space, the speakers in the corners of the room and the audience sitting or walking around it. Through specific microphone-speaker configurations—what I term piano maps—the piano is magnified, projected, and mapped in space. The idea to virtually extend the piano in a multispeaker setup came from a wish to immerse the audience as equal listeners and participants inside the piano. I had previously engaged with fixed, multichannel compositions and the movement of sounds between loudspeakers in work on Memory Piece and the Audio Papers. That led to a desire for more refined spatial composition possibilities and an interest in integrating the concept of piano maps into improvisational processes: to emphasize the active and multiple nature of mapping the piano in space, in a way that moves, transforms and even “warps” space while I perform, thereby engaging with the spatial aspects of timbre creation.“Piano Mapping” becomes another combined object-action performance approach to explore the complexities of situated timbre.
I discuss the workprocess and performance with the Piano Mapping tool in detail in chapter 7 of the thesis.