Open Wide

  • piano
  • drum kit ( snare, 6 toms, 4 , hihat, cymbals), tam
  • tape

Open Wide was commissioned by the Norwegian ensemble Cikada-duo - Kenneth Karlsson (piano) & Björn Rabben (percussion). The piece was composed 1997 and is an attempt to join electroacoustic music and instrumental music in a natural way. What is more natural than a grand piano and electric drums in combination with roaring sounds from the tape part?

The tape part was composed with the Swedish synthesizer "Nordlead" by Clavia, which is to be found in the rock music field. The sounds are very sharply sculptured but has a warm analogue timbre.
The combinations of the different timbres are rewarding since they give a sense of distance between musical elements and the dialogue that is underlying the piece can often surprise.

When one is about to compose a piece for piano, percussion and tape it is totally impossible not to think in terms of "Kontakte" by Stockhausen.
This piece is shadowing everything in this genre and it is very hard to create something new with the same set of instruments.

Compositions for percussion can often result in a play with "sounds for themselves", which by the way electroacoustic music also very often can be. It is a dilemma.
To get away from this problem I chose to let the percussionist play electric drums or drum kit. The drumkit is a fantastic construction, the player is able to play very rapidly with hands, arms, feet and legs. Therefore the tempo in the piece is very fast.
Despite the fact that I did not want to create yet another "Kontakte" I could not refrain from making allusions to this still fantastic piece from 1959-1960 and surprisingly enough it was not hard making these typically Stockhausen/Knobelsdorff - sounds on the "Nordlead".