Premiered at Cycle Art and Music Festival. Reykjavík. Iceland
Reconstructing a piano and controlling the playing of strings with Arduino microcontroller and solenoid motors to perform a composition using data from the earthquakes of the Bardabunga volcano in 2014.
It is established practice to put data into music to gain a deeper understanding of the information. The composition Í Iðrum (Underground) is built on this tradition. It is comprised of two independent, yet complementary components. The physical aspect of an old, rusty, upright piano that has been transformed into a new instrument and simultaneously a music composition based on data from the Icelandic Meteorological Office about earthquakes in Bardabunga volcano from 08/29/2014 - 09/01/2014. These are seismic data from the last four days before Bardabunga erupted, rewritten into a 20-minute composition. The stronger the earthquake the deeper the string on the instrument is played. The earthquakes grow as the eruption comes closer. The quakes turn out to be very musical and very unpredictable.
The instrument is built on an old upright piano. A part of the hammer mechanism, the jack, was reused to build new hammers that play the strings. These new hammers are controlled with small motors, solenoids, and hammer straight on the strings. The piano was tuned to a new scale, the lower strings are very loose and represent the deep shakes of an earthquake, the subwoofer is also meant to underline the quake effects with deep bass tones that “shake” the audience.
Positioned around the instrument in the room are four speakers and a subwoofer. A microphone captures the sound of the instrument and broadcasts it to the speakers in real time. Additionally, effects are applied to the sound in real time using Ableton Live.
Listeners are asked to walk around the space while the piece is performed.
Nordic Music Days. Harpa Concert Hall. Iceland. September 2016
Ung Nordisk Musik. Denmark. August 2016
Cycle Art and Music Festival. Salurinn. Iceland. August 2015
Pecha Kucha Presentation, Ung Nordisk Musik festival in Denmark: