from strings to dinosaurs

A Selfplaying Piano Initiates Natural Light

stahler grand 148, dinoflagella pyrocystis fusiformis diluted in sea water

A self playing piano programmed by Tyler Friedman is placed in a darkened room. Positioned on its strings are transparent canisters. They are filled with sea water and monocellular algae (pyrocystis fusiformis). The plankton reacts visually to the music and touches of the instrument with the emission of natural blue light (bioluminescence). 
Over a period of 2 hours the music grows more complex following the logics of cell division (2, 4, 8, 16, etc.). The complexity of the piece develops in 15 minute phases. Finally, after reaching the maximum of possible acoustic variations and exhausting the capacity of natural light emission by the algae, the composition ends in the complete extinction of sound and light.

The work was realized with the kind support of Stahler Pianos, Pianoforce.

Andreas Greiner, NAK, Aachen 2014