Hammers and Bows
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL346     Release Date: 2010-12-15

William Albright, piano; Robert Morris, piano; Gerald Fischbach, violin; Curtis Curtis-Smith, piano

Probably the most immediate aspect of Phases is the apparent motion of the two pianos’ sound in space. In concert, four loudspeakers are placed in front, to the right, in back, and to the left of the audience so that the sounds of the pianos are heard to come from any of these locations or move at various speeds and directions between and among them. This is accomplished by two additional performers who, with the aid of photo-cell-mixers or pan-pots, are able to spatially locate the sounds independently according to notations given in the score. For this recording, the quadraphonic circular presentation described above is transformed into a linear stereo version so that the four basic locations mentioned appear to be situated at the left speaker, one third of the distance between the two speakers from the left speaker, similarly from the right speaker, and at the right speaker. Not much of the original effect is lost however, especially if the piece is listened to with earphones. The primary reason for using the spatial effect, aside from its curiously enticing character, is to differentiate the textural and polyphonic possibilities of the two-piano format; different strands of counterpoint, melody, etc, are put into relief by their virtual locations and movements. As a result, the gestural traits of the piece are intensified.
Robert Morris

Curtis Curtis-Smith writes:

Five Sonorous Inventions is the third piece of mine to employ a method of bowing the piano strings, achieved by the use of specially devised bows. My interest in this technique was not solely for the novelty of the sounds themselves, but for the purpose of bringing the two dissimilar instruments into a closer timbral similarity.

“The bows are constructed of nylon thread of varying thicknesses and lengths, and of varying number of strands: some of the bows having as few as eighteen strands, other as many as forty-eight, depending on the register for which they are intended. These bows are threaded at various points through the piano strings prior to the performance.



This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Various Artists

Hammers and Bows

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Phases
Robert Morris
Buy
Five Sonorous Inventions: I. -
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Five Sonorous Inventions: II. -
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Five Sonorous Inventions: III. -
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Five Sonorous Inventions: IV. -
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy
Five Sonorous Inventions: V. -
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Buy