MORTON SUBOTNICK (b.1933): Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 4 - The Other Piano for Piano and Live Electronics*, Falling Leaves*, Liquid Strata for Piano and Ghost Electronics, Preludes: The Blind Owl*, The Feast* and IV for Piano and Tape. * - First Recordings.
Catalogue Number: 02U045
Description: This disc usefully collects together all of Subotnick’s piano music together, and includes four first recordings, all supervised by the composer. Liquid Strata is an important work in Subotnick’s oeuvre. Here the electronic component is his unique “ghost electronics” technique, in which Subotnick pre-recorded vocal “energy shapes” on tape. These audio signals are then used to determine envelopes of pitch, amplitude, modulation and stereo panning, without being played audibly to the audience. All the Ghost pieces can be performed live, with speakers in front of the performer playing live sound modulated by the 'ghost' part. The Other Piano is a continuation of the Ghost pieces. The composer describes the piece as “a quadraphonic sound painting [spread] throughout the auditorium, done on the spot, intuitively, by a sound painter”. One always hears the real piano and the transformations are a fantasy, changing in time and space, whirling around the room. Subotnick drew conceptual ideas for Falling Leaves from Scarlatti sonatas, a “sense of Scarlatti, but not derivative” particularly repeated notes, the virtuosic crossing of hands, and the idea of cadences. The early Preludes Nos. 1 & 2 are post-Webern influenced works. Prelude No. 4 is the first piece where Subotnick worked with synthesizer. The synthesizer part was recorded on stereo tape, which is then played alongside the live piano. As always with Subotnick, these fluid timbral sculptures are mesmerising and weirdly beautiful. SooJin Anjou (piano), Morton Subotnick (electronics).