Landmine – Disklavier / processing

landmine (2000 rev. 2007) is 17-minute composition and performance project for pianist, Yamaha Disklavier Grand Piano and live-audio processing.  Commissioned in 1999 by American Composers Forum for pianist 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 piece was performed in NY, Florida and Australia, was finally recorded by Supové and Naphtali in 2017 and in 2019 received another performance and will be released as part of Supové’s upcoming CD for Starkland label.

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

Performance 2/25/19 at Areté Venue & Gallery in Greenpoint Brooklyn, NY.
Kathleen Supové, piano.  Dafna Naphtali, live electronics / processing.

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

Landmine @ NIME conference 2007 from Dafna Naphtali on Vimeo.