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Entropy : for piano solo

by Natalie Williams (2002)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Mark Kruger from the CD Works, 1999-2005

Works, 1999-2005


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


Works, 1999-2005 / Natalie Williams.

Library shelf no. CD 1676 [Available for loan]



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Entropy : for piano solo / Natalie Williams.

Library shelf no. 786.2/WIL 69 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Entropy is a work for solo piano based on the physical process of the diffusion of energy. I was inspired by this concept and began working on a technically demanding and aurally challenging piece. I wanted to create a fast, energy-filled, explosive piano work that deeply engages the performer on a physical level.

Entropy is the measure of unavailable energy within a system or entity. For example, unburnt petrol has low Entropy, but a high potential energy. When the petrol burns, the amount of unavailable energy (the Entropy) increases. This piece is based on the scientific principal that as energy diffuses (decreases), Entropy (measure of unavailable energy) increases. Entropy can de described as a concentrated energy being diffused or spread out, or the deterioration of an energetic state.

The direction of energy flow always occurs from a concentrated to a diffused state. This is why we know that reversed footage of a diver springing back up to a diving board from the water is never possible, because the flow of energy is moving backwards and defies the laws of Entropy. In some respects, this work mirrors the energy flow of everyday life and the massive amounts of drive found in rapidity, repetition and extraordinary human movement, such as that of piano playing.

The aim of the piece is to illustrate musically the process of the breakdown of energy and the build-up and takeover of the non-physical process of Entropy. I wanted to portray not only the flow of energy from a concentrated to a diffused state, but focus on the build up of a sub-state - one form overtaking another as part of a narrative process. In this respect the piece consists of two themes, playing against each other and intertwining as the music reaches its climax. Using simple quartal and quintal harmonies, swift textures and rapid figurations, I have worked from a thematic centre and spread my musical material gradually outwards, aiming to represent the Entropic effect in music.

Work Details

Year: 2002

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 11 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Mark Kruger

Commission note: Commissioned by Mark Kruger.. Commissioned by Mark Kruger for 2002 ASKM National concert series

First performance: by Mark Kruger — 6 May 02. Chapel of the Coppin Community Centre in Prahran, Melbourne, in a recital of new Australian works for solo piano

Performances of this work

18 Jul 2020: at Entropy (Live streaming event (online only)). Featuring Stefan Cassomenos.

23 May 02: Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide. Featuring Mark Kruger.

6 May 02: Chapel of the Coppin Community Centre in Prahran, Melbourne, in a recital of new Australian works for solo piano. Featuring Mark Kruger.

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