Alien Warp Etude

for microtonal piano

Commissioned by Aron Kallay for Beyond Twelve Tour and Recording Project


Alien Warp Etude is loosely inspired by Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 No. 1., nicknamed “Aeolian Harp” by Robert Schumann, who imagined the piece emanating from a wind-powered instrument with various scales “intermingled by the hand of the artist into all sorts of fantastic embellishments.”

In keeping with this idea of overlapping scales, the tuning of this etude borrows elements from two overtone series, separated by a “neutral” or “androgynous” third, which falls between the major and minor third. This etude explores the ambiguity introduced by this interval, as well as tensions between abstract, mathematical patterns and a flowing, melodic lyricism.

Premiered Friday, September 28, 2012, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL
Performed Saturday, September 29, 2012, Beyond Twelve at SoDo Theatre, Champaign, IL
Performed Sunday, September 30, 2012, Fishers Library, Indianapolis, IN
Performed Wednesday, October 3, 2012, Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT
Performed Thursday, October 4, 2012, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA
Performed Friday, October 5, 2012, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Performed Saturday, October 6, 2012, Spectrum, New York, NY


To purchase full score and Scala files for digital piano retuning, contact the composer.

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