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A software tool for exploring the prepared digital piano, an instrument at the charged border between body and computer

bitKlavier is a software tool for exploring a range of musical ideas via “preparing” the digital piano, inspired by John Cage’s “prepared piano.” These preparations consist of various relatively simple algorithms inspired by conventional machines like the metronome, the reverse tape delay, and others, while also exploiting possibilities native to the digital realm where we are largely freed from normal physical and acoustic constraints. Our aim here is to extend the tool’s functionality in both straightforward and complex ways, while also making it more widely accessible.

Digital musical instrument building resides at the murky but charged border between body and computer. On the one hand, we are trying to imagine how we might physically and intuitively relate to sound in expressive, qualitative ways, and on the other hand we are required to code that relationship in precise terms; the significance of this project will manifest itself (at least partly) in the ways quantitative and qualitative approaches to understanding can be reconciled, and how we can learn from our failures (which in and of themselves might be fascinating if unexpected).

  • Project Director
  • Dan Trueman

  • Project Manager
  • Florent Ghys

  • Technical Lead
  • Mike Mulshine

  • Additional Technical Lead
  • Jeff Snyder

  • Spencer Salazar


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