Externals is a work for three pianos with three click tracks. At the core of the work is the exploration of accuracy and techniques that are largely unachievable through conventional notation and performance, but thrive through the simple use of in-ear instructions and click tracks. The use of unique click tracks for each performer creates a rigidity of rhythm and structure in the performance that is offset by the presence of human variation and interpretation, thus creating and attractive balance between performer and machine.
The work explores ideas of polytemporal phasing and stereo performance – concepts that are usually associated with electronic music. Placing these techniques in the context of an acoustic environment, the aim is to develop a non-intrusive form of mixed music. The purpose of the click tracks is to guide the player in an isolated environment, employing rhythmic devices that relate to other player’s tracks such as displacement, phasing and random tempos.
A short extract of the score can be found here.
Externals was performed on 28/05/15 by Lolita Emmanuel, Elizabeth Jigalin and Kezia Yap.