Latin American Electroacoustic Music Collection

Juan Reyes, ppP, 1999-2000

Recording time: 8 min 27 s.

Other resources available:
- Biography of Juan Reyes
- Compositions by Juan Reyes

About this composition:

Dedicated to Marcela Aldana

This is a composition for the Physical Model of the Piano and traditional acoustic Piano. The physical model of the Piano was developed by Scott Van Duyne at CCRMA. The sound in this composition is a contrasting tone between the real instrument and the model. The advantage of using a physical model, sets the composition's intentions of the composer by experimenting with the sound of the piano in ways that are somehow difficult to materialize with real instruments. In many cases the model of the piano is taken to extremes, like infinite string vibrations, or by using non-standard temperaments and different string lengths and densities for the same pitch. In the physical model, the acoustical context surrounding the sound of the string was also explored. Given this case, the sound of the piano string was not always a function of the sound board or hammers providing different timbres which are not possible in other ways.

Concert or stage version:
ppP, in its concert version is an algorithmic composition for traditional acoustic piano and modeling of the piano. This piece uses a computer model of a piano in an unusual tunning as contrast and complement to the real instrument on-stage. The software piano has indefinitely vibrating strings, non-standard temperaments and different string lengths and densities for the same pitch. In this piece the physical model has been tuned to the Bohlen Pierce Scale. Additionally, the context surrounding the string can change-it need not be struck by a hammer or resonated sound-board. ppP, stands for perfectly pitched piano or perfectly perceived piano but also might also mean pianissimo and rather not in regards to dynamics. This piece was composed using Scott Van Duyne's Physical Model of the Piano developed at CCRMA in Common Lisp Music.

Museum Performance or Installation version:
The form of ppP consists of five passages for the pianist which in turn are part of a cycle. The cycle is given by five groups of sound files which sound simultaneously but have different duration. Each sound file contains only one pitch class. Different sound files are variations of the chosen pitch class. All pitch classes of the tempered scale must be used and there are two or three pitch classes assigned to each sounding group. The sounding group is only a single pitch class sounding at a given moment usually at random or by a predefined sequence. In this case the groupings are either on phase or out of phase. This version is to be performed live with a pianist and a sound system. The sources may be direct hard disk sound playback in order to achieve strict randomness or also by five CD players in sync with each other and each one with their sequence in compact disc.