Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE

Take the C Train

for grand piano, claves and E-Bow
2009

Dedicated to Xenia Pestova


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Seda Röder: CD Black and White Statements

Just released on CD!



Take the C Train was written for the Russian-Canadian pianist Xenia Pestova as a present to her 30th birthday, hence the duration of exactly 30 seconds.

In this piece, no normal piano sound is being played. Instead, the low piano plate is struck with a clave, producing rich resonances which are sustained by sustain pedal. In the sostenuto pedal (3.P.), a overtone chord is held all over the piece which becomes only audible after the sustain pedal has been released.

Additionally, an E-Bow placed over the strings of the middle C excites this pitch which is an overtone of all the chordal components held in the sostenuto pedal.

This short piece is unfolding itself by the subtle interplay between the two pedals, the E-Bow and the silently depressed (and gradually released) key of middle C. By this, the piano is turned into a sort of filter bank that is excited by noise bursts (produced by the claves struck onto the piano plate) and a sine wave (produced by the E-Bow resonance of the middle C).




Statement Seda Röder

"Ob ich jedem Stück die richtige Aussage verleihen kann und ob ich jedem Komponisten gerecht werde - DAS ist eine Herausforderung für mich. Ich spiele auch ein Stück, es dauert nur 30 Sekunden: Take the C Train von Karlheinz Essl. Da ist die Frage: Was mache ich denn mit so einem Stück auf der Bühne?"

Das Stück besteht nur aus sieben Takten, in denen kein einziger 'normaler' Klavierton erklingt. Stattdessen Resonanzklänge in der Tiefe. Über der Saite des eingestrichenen C wird der E-Bow, ein Effektgerät für die E-Gitarre, montiert. Der elektronisch verfremdete Klavierklang wird zum Geräusch. Geschrieben hat Karlheinz Essl Take the C Train bereits 2009 für eine befreundete Pianistin. 30 Sekunden anlässlich ihres 30. Geburtstags: "Es hört sich an, als ob ein Zug von weitem kommen und dann wegfahren würde", sagt Seda Röder: "Das ist eine Art Surround-Effekt. Und ich finde das ganz toll, solche verrückten Sachen zu meistern"

in: Programmheft des Festivals Klangspuren 2013 zu Seda Röders Solorecital Black and White Statements


CD Note

Take the C Train for piano, claves and e-bow was written for a pianist friend Xenia Pestova in 2009. The piece consists of only seven bars, in which there is not a single usual piano tone. At the beginning, there is a bang on the instrument. Resonance sounds vibrate in the depths. Above the string of the C, an effect device is installed for an electric guitar - an 'E bow'. "It really sounds as if a train were coming from the distance and then travelling away", as Seda Röder describes this musically realized effect. (Wiebke Matyschok)


Listen

Take the C Train (2009)
Studio recording by Xenia Pestova
Amsterdam, Sep 2009



Score

The score of Take the C Train can be downloaded for free. Please note that the music is protected by copyright.



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Updated: 11 Aug 2015