Piano Control, For Piano & Synthi A

Pianist Gilles Grimaitre shared this live performance of Swiss composer Thomas Kessler’s Piano Control (1974), an electroacoustic work for piano and EMS Synthi A.

The Electronic Music Studios (EMS) Synthi A was introduced in 1971, so Kessler’s composition is a contemporary work, in both senses of the term.

In Piano Control, the Synthi A is used in a variety of ways, being played directly, reacting to the piano, expanding the piano’s sonic palette and creating an accompaniment.

“I’ve worked closely with Thomas for years, performing his piece live a few times, always on his original Synthi A,” notes Grimaitre. “The work is not just a simple sound phenomenon, the synthesizer is a protagonist in itself, in constant communication with the pianist.”

6 thoughts on “Piano Control, For Piano & Synthi A

  1. “in constant communication with the pianist”, I always have to laugh when I read such bs

    no actually it isn’t, there is no envelope follower 😉

    insert weird flowery words here for use of a ringmodulator ^^

    1. hm.. noone said, the synthesizer is reacting. every sound can be in communication with the pianist if the pianist is reacting to it. very general but no bs imo…

      anyways, thank you for the upload! fantastic music, excellent performance. i wish there was more music like that on synthtopia – where someone actually tries to compose some music with synthesizers instead of using them as decoration for a bassdrum pulse or for drones…

    2. You can say bs and I said something in the same matter and my comment was removed. Great work mod!

      It’s the same thing as put a drawing of a child in a museum and explane it with philosophical bs.

  2. Looks like the pedal is being used to trigger the envelope generator. In some parts you can see that the foot movements synch with the attack light in the middle going on and off.

    And yes the ring mod does sound lovely.

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