Ronald Perera: Fantasy Variations for electronically prepared piano (1977)

This piece was written in 1975, and is dedicated to Monica Jakuc. An introduction and seven variations of highly contrasting musical character are sent to a synthesizer by means of a microphone placed inside the piano. The synthesizer electronically modifies the piano sound, differently in each variation, and sends its “version” back into the concert hall over the loudspeakers. The character of the piano music and of the synthesizer processing in each variation are intimately related. For example, in Sweep the synthesizer’s electronic filter is passing only a very narrow band of the piano’s frequency spectrum at any instant, but that band is rising and falling – sweeping – through the spectrum with a wavelike motion analogous to the piano’s rising and falling arpeggios. What is actually being varied in the variations is the application of a twelve note pitch series, whose eight central tones give it a distinctly pentatonic character.

The movements are:

For information on the electronics required for performance please contact the publisher. Published by Pear Tree Press Music Publishers
Comments by Ronald Perera.