David Smooke - Composer



Hocket Ensemble



rehearsal of h.at.

Phyllis and Takuji rehearsing "Toy with Me."





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Toy with Me

[Click image to view sample PDF score]

(two toy pianos), 9 min., 2009. Composed for Phyllis Chen.
Premiered by Phyllis Chen and Takuji Kawai, Tokyo, Japan.

Pestova-Meyer Duo: Xenia Pestova and Pascal Meyer, toy pianos, 2009

Toy with Me was composed at the request of Phyllis Chen. The first movement is derived from a series of improvisations I created in order to perform with the interdisciplinary artist Mayumi Ishino. The two pianos are places antiphonally in order to create spatial effects unavailable on one instrument. While the core material comes directly from the improvisations, this piece led in a surprising new directions that built to a brand new melody. The second movement is a mensuration canon in four parts where the initial idea keeps recurring exactly, but at faster and faster speeds. When the first two voices meet, I cut off the development of the canon and lead to a strong conclusion. The last movement forces the two players into extremely close quarters. Fitting four hands onto an instrument that is less than three octaves provided an intriguing challenge indeed.

Toy With Me
Pestova-Meyer duo performing, Xenia Pestova and Pascal Meyer, toy pianos at the Karnatic Lab, Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 12, 2010.

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