The Keyboard Travis West

The Keyboard is a personal reflection on the composer’s journey from pianist to electronic musician. These two categories act as stand-ins for myriad other supposed dichotomies and mutual exclusions: performer and composer, acoustic and electronic, real and virtual, and so on. The main source materials were recorded from the composer’s laptop using a conventional condenser microphone to record acoustic sounds like typing on the keyboard, and using a home made inductive microphone to record the electromagnetic radiation emanating from the electronic circuits hidden inside the computer. The piece was initially composed for 5.1 speakers plus the low fidelity speakers built into a laptop placed on stage. For portability, the laptop speakers have been emulated and mixed into the left front channel. The first sound begins in the laptop speakers, and throughout the piece their fixed position and tone plays in contrast to the other speakers and the sounds that move throughout them, spatially mirroring the supposedly opposing categories of the piece.

  • Year of composition: 2016
  • Genre: Electroacoustics
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Hardware used: Zoom H4N, Fireface 800, home made inductive microphone, Macbook Pro
  • Software used: Ableton Live, NI Kontakt, Sound Guru The Mangle, Valhalla FreqEcho, Michael Norris Spectral DroneMaker
  • Duration of the submitted work: 4:47
  • Production: University

Downloadable resources

Linked project