A music scanning software applied to three different scores of Beethoven’s Arietta – the second and final movement of the piano Sonata Op. 111 – produced unexpected and differently anomalous results in converting from printed score to MIDI files.
Instead of trying to fix the many incongruencies and mistakes – or discarding altogether the results of the scanning – I started analysing the material with interest and a growing appreciation for the serendipitous musical features that ‘digital chance’ (what else could have been) had introduced in the famous composition.
The anomalous parts that were uninteresting or unmusical in my judgement were very few, and in those cases I used the digital scissors. Otherwise, I left most of the material the way the scanning software had generated in the process from the scores to MIDI tracks.
And the three variously incomplete versions of the music were assembled in one continuous sequence.
The original work, with its structure based on variations, lends itself marvelously to the type of recomposition that was carried out. Also, the gamelan-like parts of the ‘Arietta’ justified – almost imposed! – the moderate use of sounds of gamelan instruments in addition to the Steinway grand piano.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Arietta, second and final movement of the Sonata for piano No. 32, Op. 111
this version: 19:00
Another album that employed the same concept of creatively using technical defects and malfunctions is ‘Unstringing Beethoven’ JNM08, published in 2014.
YANTRA – Production and Digital Release