Landmine – 1999 & 2007

landmine is 20-minute work for Yamaha Disklavier Grand Piano and live-audio processing (also sometimes performed in a 12-minute version). Commissioned in 2000 by American Composers Forum for Kathleen Supové, it premiered that year.  The various sections of the piece are named for Unix processes that are related to the musical concepts for that section.

The composition and performance of this piece rely heavily on programs I have written in Max/MSP:  The piano part is based on a real-time algorithmic compositional “toy” that I developed, inspired by the music of Nancarrow and Xenakis.  It was used to generate all the basic harmonic and rhythmic materials used in writing the piece.  The live audio processing in the piece uses a program I’ve been developing since 1993 to control an Eventide effects processor, and it is an extension of the computer-instrument I use in composed and improvised performances. Finally, in two sections (most notably the last measures of :q! quit without saving), the pianist improvises with and against the same algorithm that was used to generate the raw material for the piano parts, as well as with a program that creates “piano for 14 hands”.  The title reflects the way the “toy” algorithm behaves — inserting chords and repetitions in unexpected places that could potentially overwhelm the performer.

Program sections:

landmine: {dafna naphtali}


xp swap

:sh invoke a shell

:q! quit without saving

See video of Kathleen Supové performing with me at NIME 2007 in NYC.


Landmine @ NIME conference 2007 from Dafna Naphtali on Vimeo.

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