Due (Cinta)mani

Eric Chasalow

About this work:
Due (Cinta)mani (2002) is a piece for piano soloist (due mani) combined with electronic sounds that modulate and transform piano timbres, the attack and decay characteristics, and the shapes of entire gestures or even whole phrases. There is a great economy in the piano writing, and yet the combined result is a kind of tapestry of colors and shapes. Its narrative form evolves nonlinearly, with "cross-cutting" of the sort used in film-editing. This allows for multiple narrative streams to unfold simultaneously, enriching one another- the present idea, a second layer of commentary, and a third with the resonance of memory, all in "narrative counterpoint". The origin of the cintamani pattern, three flaming pearls placed over sea waves, is uncertain, but it most likely has an ancient Buddhist origin. The lines representing the waves might instead connote tiger stripes or clouds. Cintamani appear frequently in the decorative arts of China, India, Tibet, and the Ottoman Empire, most often in textiles, carpets and ceramics. I have chosen the word for my title because of its iconographic power and mystery - also because of a personal interest in Asian art and culture. The piece is in two movements, each based on the same harmonic material: Three Symbolic Gestures and Cloudbands. Due (Cinta)mani was commissioned by Vicki Ray and is dedicated to her.
Year composed: 2002
Duration: 00:07:30
Ensemble type: Electronic Instruments and Sound Sources:Prerecorded Sound and Live Instrument(s)
Instrumentation: 1 Piano
Instrumentation notes: tape part on CD, plays continuously (no cues needed)

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