Autumn Resonance

for piano and delays

1979

Autumn Resonance for piano and delays was written in 1979 and has since been performed frequently by the composer in concerts and radio broadcasts in Europe. The peice was given its U.S. premiere by Wayne Siegel in 1982 at the New Music America Festival in Chicago, a concert which was broadcast via satellite throughout the United States.

Each sound produced by the piano is heard live through both speakers, but it is also sampled and processed by two digital delays and repeated 187 ms. (0.187 second) later through the left speaker and again 187 ms. later ( or 374 ms after the original sound) through the right speaker. Autumn Resonance is thus a very fast canon and at the same time a spatial hocket, in which musical figures move very quickly around the concert hall.

This delay process with the two delay times is the same throughout the piece, but it is used in two very different ways: both as a textural effect, in which the overtones of fast tremolo chords are layered upon themselves to create a singing, drone-like effect, and also as a rhythmic and spatial idea in the middle section of the piece, in which the pianist plays fast staccato figures synchronized with the two delays.

Though Autumn Resonance is precisely notated in the form of a score, each performance by the composer is slightly different, depending on the resonance of the individual piano and of the concert hall. The work is recorded on the PAULA label with Wayne Siegel performing on a Bösendorfer concert grand.

Download programme note as PDF: Autumn Resonance