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#45words for piano and computer by Paul Dickinson Performance Notes Equipment Needed: • The #45words Max/MSP stand-alone app running on a computer (Mac or Windows) • Condensor microphone in the piano with a USB input into the computer • 1/8 inch stereo jack from computer to RCA stereo input (or other input) into sound system • Stereo sound system (amplifier and speakers) 1. Quit all open applications and restart the computer. 2. Open the #45words stand-alone app. 3. Click button on the left of the app window to assign a note to each word. 4. Turn on sound (x-toggle switch or computer’s space bar). 5. Adjust microphone input level. 6. Turn off sound when finished. #45words is an improvisatory piece that is different every time it is performed. The notes randomly assigned to the words range from E2 to C6. The pitch detection function of the app triggers one note at a time, even if you play a chord. Notes above C6 will not trigger a word. Notes below E2 may be interpreted as a higher note (the pitch detector may detect overtones). But play whatever notes you like. Program Notes #45words was created in response to a sarcastic and comical Facebook post by pianist Nick Phillips, about commissioning a piano piece based on the tweeting habits of our 45th president. Twenty-four composers answered his official Call for Scores named #45miniatures for pieces in some way related to or about President Trump. My piece is inspired by two humorous compilation videos—Trump saying “billions and billions” over and over, and Trump playing an imaginary accordion while he speaks—so I decided to let the man (sort of) speak for himself. After a rather unsystematic search of the trumptwitterarchive.com, I selected 45 of his most frequently used words, found the words in various speeches, and created a computer program to play them based on input from the pianist. #45words is an improvisatory piece that is different every time it is performed. Notes are randomly paired with each word, and the pianist must try to make sense of them—or not! Biography The music of Paul Dickinson is characterized by a dramatic contrast of musical ideas integrated into organic formal structures. Art, literature, and music of all eras influence his diverse musical output. Among his honors and awards are grants from the Fromm Music Foundation, the Arkansas Arts Council, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), a BMI Award, and numerous commissions. His music has been performed throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. It is available on Capstone Records. Dickinson teaches Composition and Music Theory at the University of Central Arkansas.


Here’s a screen shot of the app:

Profile for Nicholas Phillips

"#45words" by Paul Dickinson  

Part of the #45miniatures Project, and commissioned by pianist Nicholas Phillips. Available from the composer: pauld@uca.edu

"#45words" by Paul Dickinson  

Part of the #45miniatures Project, and commissioned by pianist Nicholas Phillips. Available from the composer: pauld@uca.edu

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