Hyperchromatica

by Kyle Gann

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about

On his latest recording, Hyperchromatica, Kyle Gann expands on Conlon Nancarrow’s work with player pianos and multiplies it. This expansive new work was written for three computer-controlled disklavier pianos that Gann tuned to an intricate system of his own design, with the express goal to “reinvent tonality.” Gann treats the work not as a piano trio but a work for a single instrument with 243 keys. Hyperchromatica extends the possibilities of the piano well beyond the range of human possibility, utlizing complex polytempo and polymetric techniques that would be impossible for even the most virtuosic of players.

That’s not to say that Hyperchromatica is cold and mechanical. There are moments of frenetic chaos, to be sure, but Gann is focused on making microtonal music not accessible, but more “attractive and seductive.” Gann manipulates our suspension of disbelief, moving seamlessly from typically pianistic passages to figures almost too complex to comprehend. The strata of mictrotonal pitch and polytempo provides an unfamiliar lushness.

Hyperchromatica is a mammoth work, more than two years in the making. After years of working with a variety of microtonal tunings, Gann devised a tuning that provided him with enough heft to cover the piece’s two and half hours. By covering the gamut of styles and techniques, Gann has created a touchstone of microtonal music. The future is now, and Kyle Gann is leading is the way.

credits

released March 23, 2018

Hyperchromatica (2015-2017)
For three retuned, computer-driven pianos

Photo: Pete Mauney
Design: Anne Garland
Executive Producer: Charles Amirkhanian
Producer: Andrew Weathers
Mastering Engineer: Andrew Weathers

This recording was supported in part by a generous grant from Bard College.

© 2018, Other Minds Records

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Other Minds is a global New Music community where composers, students, and listeners discover and learn about innovative music by composers from all over the world.

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