Hans Tutschku

Shadow of bells

for piano and electronics
year: 2015
duration: 23:00 min
studio: Harvard University
dedicated to Amnon Wolman
first performance: February 05, 2015 by Paavali Jumppanen , Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston

In the summer 2014, I spent three months in Japan to study aspects of traditional and contemporary culture, life and ritual. I visited countless temples, listened to their bells and wandered the gardens - all of them breathing with a particular rhythm.
The influence on my sense of time was incredibly fascinating.
Shadow of Bells for piano and electronics brings those memories back into my musical world but I'm not trying to replicate any existing structure or particular musical source. The electronics act as a shadow to the piano and provide an acoustic space around the instrument.
The 20-minutes composition is a meandering walk through imaginary landscapes of quietness and resonance. The quick shifts between fluid, crystalline, singing passages, sparse lines and large chords depict the sonic interplay of a society with many contrasts.
The sense of slowness has occupied many of my recent works. This new composition is again an invitation to step outof our fast-paced activities and to discover small elements and their variations through time.

audio recording at festival 29. Tage Neuer Musik in Weimar with Frank Gutschmidt on Ocotber 26 2016

audio recording of first performance with Paavali Jumppanen




The electronic part is realized as an independent application and doesn’t require a Max/MSP installation.

download electronics for Mac intel – version 19 (Max 6 application) – april 2016


iPad with MIRA application

running an iPad with the MIRA application on the same network as the Mac provides the pianist with a visual feedback of the current and next event numbers


Technical requirements:

  • grand piano
  • six high quality loudspeakers
  • two placed under the piano, directed towards the sound board
  • four on stands, surrounding the audience, the rear speakers are not directed towards the audience, rather face the back corners or walls
  • 2 microphones (e.g. AKG c414, Neumann 184)
  • macintosh computer with Application ‘Shadow of Bells’
  • 6-channel sound card
  • sustain pedal (placed to the left of the piano pedals)
  • converter sustain-to-MIDIScreenshot 2016-04-22 08.32.36
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