Big Fish Audio | Electronic Musician Magazine David Rubin | John Cage Prepared Piano Product Review
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John Cage Prepared Piano | Electronic Musician Magazine

Reviewer: David Rubin Back to John Cage Prepared Piano product details

If you're a fan of John Cage or you've ever wanted to experiment with "prepared" piano, this library is the ultimate resource. Based on Cage's written instructions, the 2-CD set meticulously re-creates the preparation used in Sonatas & Interludes, the composer's landmark work from the mid 1940s. Nuts, bolts, screws, and pieces of rubber and wood (most from the original collection) were wedged between the strings of a Steinway B according to Cage's detailed Table of Preparation at the head of the score.

The piano was then sampled in 24-bit resolution at three dynamic levels (p, mf, f) for staccato and sustained notes with all pedals up and also with the soft pedal down. The wide ranging collection of presets is the only sample library authorized by the John Cage Trust. It affords a rare opportunity to accurately reproduce the music of John Cage without jamming a bunch of hardware into the family piano.

If you're not interested in its historical value, you can use the library as a palette for creating new sonic textures. Improvising on many of the patches produces an Indonesian-gamelan-meets-American-Steinway sound that is both fascinating and fun to play.

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