Space Churn Red

by James Hegarty

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On the occasion of the New Music Circle’s 50th anniversary season, I have chosen to offer performances that emphasize the immediacy and spontaneity for which our organization is recognized and to do so through the most direct musical expression possible. In my case, that is the piano. Space Churn Red, the first set on the program, is a collection of movements for improvised piano with interactive computer accompaniment. The title of this work is drawn from a sculpture by George Rickey at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University. The sculpture consists of a large series of circular forms with a handle that allows the circles to be rotated; the circles suggest large “egg-beaters” that “churn” the space. As I turned the handle, the sculpture made a hauntingly beautiful sound and I returned the next day to record it. This recording inspired the collection of additional recordings that are used in the work. The computer algorithmically manipulates these recordings of kinetic sculptures, spoken dialogues, synthesis and environments. Computer processing has been applied to some of the files. The second set, Antithesis Reflex, is for unaccompanied piano that explores abstract and flexible formal structures as applied to improvisation. Just as the computer algorithm in the first set is written to place low-level order upon the output of a pseudo-random number generator, so in this work I am seeking to explore fundamental ideas of structure within the realization of musical content that is spontaneously improvised.

Some movements are connected without pause

Space Churn Red
Route 64 at 8th
Play back
Space Churn Red
Union Station
Antithesis Reflex


released November 7, 2008



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James Hegarty St Louis, Missouri

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