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Three optical allusions (solo piano)

by Stuart Greenbaum (2001, this version: 2000)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Amir Farid from the CD Satellite mapping

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Firestarters 1


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Firestarters 1 : 14 piano miniatures.

Library shelf no. 786.2/FIR 5 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

These pieces present rhythmic puzzles which 'allude' to corresponding visual 'illusions'. Solar Eclipse explores the ratio 3:4. The syncopation within this ratio seems to generate a vortex of rhythmic gravity within a harmonic structure that moves toward and then away from a perfect eclipse of the sun.

In Time-Lapse Photograph, a simple rising motive in the left hand repeats over and over - each time a little longer. Independently, the right hand develops a more syncopated, 'blurred' melodic line. Once the photograph is 'coloured in' it fades away (in similar fashion to Solar Eclipse).

A Möbius Strip (as drawn by M.C. Escher) is a length of paper looped and joined at the ends but with one end turned around 180 degrees. This creates an object with only one plane, since the front merges into the back and vice versa. This musical 'allusion' is based around the opening 5-note cell, which loops seamlessly upon itself, expanding and contracting like a möbius strip. Toward the end it modulates pivotally through the flat cycle of keys, launching upwards into infinity.

Work Details

Year: 2001, this version: 2000

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Medium — AMEB Grade 7-8

Contents note: Solar Eclipse -- Time-lapse photograph -- Möbius strip.

First performance: 5 May 02. Mark Kruger Chapel, Freemasons

First movement ('Solar eclipse') was previously titled 'Experience' and was part of the work 'Innocence and experience'.

Performances of this work

5 May 02: Mark Kruger Chapel, Freemasons

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