Chiaroscuro is about the tension in the moment of recording the piano.
The piano can express more than the just the player. Chiaroscuro is unrefined, singular, and captures the complexity of its setting in Los Angeles, California by expressing the city through field recordings. This is a collection of intimate and nuanced piano patterns, weaving around each other.
Hosted in UVI Falcon, the simple interface has 4 layers to choose from, each offering a different selection of weaving piano performances. The first three layers are recordings of short simple performances - all different varieties of repeated piano notes. None are performed to a click track meaning they have a organic and live feel to them.
The fourth layer is a looped synth layer which creates a beautiful undercurrent that swells and fades under the piano. You'll also hear field recordings of LA interlaced throughout creating an ambient, live feeling.
"It has quirks and imperfections but it's only there in order to tell the story of who and where it comes from."
Welcome - Emmett Cooke
Chiaroscuro IV - Estevan Carlos Benson
Q: What is the origin story of this instrument?
The piano was found outside someone's home in Koreatown in Los Angeles. My partner and I spent a while around the home trying to find someone to speak to. We asked if we could have it and there we go. Eventually it made it's way back to my home and it was the first real piano I've owned.
After that point I had decided to explore other ways to "perform" this piano. I've always been concerned with probability and generative processes so I took performance elements from the piano and turned those into the instrument. It more or less captures my meandering performances. Which in essence I want to be a reflection of my time and place: the sordid, strange time of Hollywood California.
Q: What is your creative practice and how does inform the sounds that you create?
I'm always an advocate of chance and I consider myself deeply embedded in the school of thought promoted by John Cage. Whether I'm creating visual compositions or music, I try to consider how probabilistic events can be incorporated. Personally, I just want to be surprised. I want to give up some control. I want the creative result to feel like something outside of my hands.
- Runs in Falcon version 2.5.6+
- iLok account (free, dongle not required)
- Supported Operating Systems:
- Mac OS X 10.14 to macOS 12 (64-bit)
- Windows 10 to Windows 11 (64-bit)
- Hard Drive: 7,200 rpm recommended or Solid State Drive (SSD)
- 143 MB samples