Almost an Island
Degrees of Freedom
The Widening Gyre
Out of Hand
Beyond Our Reach
Fits and Starts
Dancing on a Wire
House of the Dreamers
Flights of Fancy
A Bao A Qu
A Flash of Green
Blue Traces (2009)
piano and computer (stereo or 4-channel sound)
Stereo mix available on John Gibson: Traces (innova 896)
and on Music from SEAMUS, volume 21.
Loading audio player...Kati Gleiser, piano
Kati Gleiser, the pianist for whom I wrote Blue Traces, told me about swimming in the ocean at night and marveling at the colorful glow cast from bioluminescent plankton. Moving your arm through the water disturbs the plankton, and in response they set off a bluish trail of soft light. This image gave me the idea for the piece: the piano plays, and the computer creates gently glowing traces of sound. Near the end, everyone becomes more agitated, as if the swimmer were now splashing around and the plankton reacting with more excitement.
The piece exists in two forms, as a duo for piano and computer, and the same duo supplemented by a string orchestra.
Here is a screenshot of the Max patch. (Click to enlarge.)