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Interview with Ivan Wyschnegradsky

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 62 min
Event Type: Interview Program Origin: KPFA

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From his home in Paris, Russian-born composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky discusses with Charles Amirkhanian his approach to writing microtonal music, and his desire for a "chromatic revolution." He describes his invention of the quarter-tone piano that has two harps controlled by three keyboards, enabling performances by a single player, and elaborates on his subsequent evolution as a composer. Wyschnegradsky focuses on “The Day of Existence”, an early work (influenced by Scriabin) that he is revisiting, and his most popular piece, “Also Sprach Zarathustra”. He demonstrates the quarter-tone piano, and details his unconventional approach of dividing pitch space into "non-octavian" units. Wyschnegradsky also shares some of the logistical difficulties of composing such unique music, and describes his desire to popularize microtonal, or "hyper-chromatic" music and techniques.

Musical Selections:  [demonstrations of the quarter-tone piano]
Performers:  Ivan Wyschnegradsky, quarter-tone piano
Genres:  Microtonal Music; Unconventional Instruments
Subject:  Wyschnegradsky, Ivan, 1893-1979; Hába, Alois, 1893-1973; Scriabin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich, 1872-1915; Microtonal music; Quarter-tone piano; Unconventional instruments
People:  Wyschnegradsky, Ivan, 1893-1979; Amirkhanian, Charles
Recording Date:  06/04/1976
 
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