Lois V Vierk

for two pianos


Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking describes a "spin 2" subatomic particle as one which has the same orientation in space after it is spun through 180 degrees, half a rotation. An arrow with an arrowhead at each end illustrates this ideas, as does the visual image of two grand pianos pacing each other with a pianist at each keyboard. As far as this piece is concerned, the concept of "spin 2" also has to do with the sounds themselves. For example, the middle section of the work contains phrases made up of many single, fast, high-pitched and high energy notes. The sounds are reiterated into symmetrical musical phrases. I hear these little pieces of sound as spinning through space, flying from one instrument to the other, combining and recombining with each other to gain new shape and direction.

My work Spin 2 begins almost as a piece for 2 percussion instruments, first completely inside the pianos, hitting and strumming the strings, and then moving on to the lowest pitches of the keyboard, playing them loudly and broadly. Gradually pitch content and harmonic movement become apparent as the interlocking piano phrases sweep upward to the highest keys, and to a lyric middle section. The work ends with dynamic trills and tremolos, expanding the instrumental register.


Recording is by Claudia Rüegg and Petra Ronner, pianists.

 CD - Vexer Verlag CHF 45 "Celestial Ballroom"

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