Hans Tutschku

moments before the eruption

for seven instruments and electronics
year: 2018
duration: 17:00
studio: Harvard University Studios for Electroacoustic Composition
first performance: March 28, 2018 by Ensemble EMEX

Imagine the charged moments in expectation of something major to happen. We don’t know when or how the event will exactly unfold. We are running in circles, search for an escape or are just trapped by the seduction of the expected surprise. Moments of changing tension succeed each other: perhaps we have been spared this time? Was the stronger tremble already it, is more to come?
Whether imagining an eruption of a volcano or the emotional outburst of a person: the time before seems to pass much slower – we are very alert to every single detail.

percussion techniques



An iPads is used to play back the electronics.
The electronics are divided into separate events, to be triggered by the conductor at the indicated moments in the score.
There is no other method of synchronization and no use of a click track. I prefer that the musicians are interpreting their parts and that the electronics are re-aligned to them at the beginning of each event.

The electronics are best played through a “Bose Soundlink mini” loudspeakers inside the piano.
The speaker will be placed on the soundboard, left of the metal frame of the low strings – the speaker facing the audience.



The mini-jack output of the iPad is connected to the Bose Speaker with a very long TRS 1/8 inch male – TRS 1/8 inch male cable.

Position the iPad as flat as possible to minimize the visual distraction for the audience.

There is no need for microphones nor additional loudspeakers in the concert hall.
The musicians control the electronics without the need of a technician or assistant.
As iPad and Bose speakers are battery powered, installation is very quick and almost invisible to the audience.



The installation and use of the iOS application and MIDI pedal


summary of needed technology

– one iPad (battery fully charged)
– one Bose Soundlink mini loudspeakers (battery fully charged)
– one long 1/8 inch TRS – 1/8 inch TRS cable


depending on the used pedals, the following items are needed:


using the MIDIExpression converter
(this is the preferred method as it does not introduce any latency between pedal action and sound start)
– one MIDI sustain pedal
– one MIDIExpression converters + iPad Application
– one USB-USBmicro cable
– one Apple lightning-USB adapter


The following two methods connect the pedal through BlueTooth, which introduces a slight latency.

using the BlueBoard
– one MIDI sustain pedals
– one BlueBoard device

using the AIRTurn
– one AirTurn PED device



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