Split Screen (2022)

for piano, keyboard, percussion, and drum set

Duration: ca. 7'30"

Written for the Icarus Quartet

Featuring prepared piano, synthesizers, percussion, and drum set, Split Screen uses syncopated and funk-based grooves to explore the multiple realities that we find ourselves living in on a moment-to-moment basis. We constantly flit between alternate versions of ourselves—analog and digital, embodied and virtual—but the truth is that these realities are actually running in parallel all the time, competing for our limited attention. Similarly, in Split Screen there are two grooves that alternate throughout the piece, each in its own different tempo. As time goes on, it becomes apparent that the two tempos are both more or less always present, coming in and out of focus depending on where rhythmic emphasis is placed. Other dualities heighten this sense of parallel realities: the acoustic piano and drum set play with and against digital versions of themselves, and equal-tempered pitches coexist with various out-of-tune preparations on the piano and effects for the keyboard. As these contrasting elements vie for our attention, they lead to a question: are any of these realities more “real” than the others?