Song Of The Day 11/25/2014: Hauschka - "Elizabeth Bay"


Well, yes. My interest in this composition was piqued because the pianist, German composer Volker Bertelmann performing under the name Hauschka, shares a nom de plume with the placekicker of my hometown NFL team, Steven Hauschka. Actually, that's not a nom de plume, that's a straight-up nom. The piano player has to go the de plume route. But let's not split hairs. Or uprights.

Hauschka, the pianist, specializes in works for prepared piano. That's quite simply a piano, usually an upright, that's had simple mechanisms attached to the hammers, or somehow placed in their linear paths. The process is creative gold for experimental music or returning college kids playing pranks on their parents during holiday visits, but Hauschka actually makes a fairly straight-ahead, melodic piece out of his modifications in the song "Elizabeth Bay." Casually glancing at the video you've got your Coke bottle caps, plastic bits of film, a miniature tambourine, a metal plate, finger cymbals, a couple of things that look like multi-colored ping pong balls, and a conveniently placed sampler/mixer that ties the room together. I have no idea how he gets that mandolin-like sound around the three-minute mark but it's revealingly haunting.

Coming up next, a minimalist piece for coat rack and pencil shavings from Swedish musician Aymeric Gronquist, performing under the name "Kaepernick."
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