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Directions for In Light of Darkness for solo piano

Pianist should be bare chested and barefoot. Pianist should meditate on poem and image for 30 minutes before the performance. Entrance for piece should be done slowly, capturing tension in the room. Objects: • 2 round glasses (stemless wine glasses), 1 conical glass (6 1/2 inches long). • G5 should be partially obstructed by inserting a folded piece of paper. • Poem. • Image.

Logistics: • A grand piano whose inner metal frame exposes Eb5 - Bb5 and allows for other indicated extended techniques to be executed. • Music stand panel should be removed. • Piano bench should be rectangular and flat. • Room should be dimly lit, with only one spot light shining on piano and pianist. Specifics: • At start of piece gently swerve on seat generating a soft wind sound. • First line should be played with the pads of the fingers, keeping the fingers straight. • Knocking on keyboard lid should be done with middle finger knuckle. • In 4th line glass should be lightly tapped with one hand as the other strokes the piano caressingly. • Squeaky sounds should be heard when pulling fingers across keyboard lid. • In 5th line let fingernails catch on string allowing small steps to be heard. Slowly add fingers allowing sounds to stagger. • Glass swirls should be done with varying degrees of pressure allowing harmonics and metallic sounds to ring dynamically and proudly. • Running across the room should be launched from a point of extreme pressure. Upon return, nestle at indicated corner and drag body across piano back to seat.

• Block arpeggios in last line should be done by leaning elbow first onto keyboard then adding forearm wrist and palm. • When huddled under piano, hear Ofra Haza’s version of the traditional Yemenite song Tzur Menti in head. • The final stage of the piece should begin with belly on piano bench first, then proceed to rotate concentrically in circular motion till finally settling in fetal position. *This action can vary from performer to performer depending on body size and range of motion, alterations to the action are welcome if unable to perform this exact movement.

General: Notation should be treated with careful liberty, and clear interpretive intentions. Transitions from section to section to be done very organically and not in a stop-and-go manner. Although the piece is slow with moments of extremely low volume, time should not be treated lugubriously, but rather with a low flame of fire driving it forward with ardor. Dynamics should be felt as wavering between extreme softness to loudness. Extreme forte should not accelerate to aggression, but rather intensity. Duration of piece should range between 17 - 22 min. Time should be thought of as timeless rather than linear. Pianist should alternate between his own interpretation of the piece and a controlled subtext by the composer. The theatrical elements should be treated with honesty, and should not be acted out or illustrated. The pianist is not an actor, but rather asked to enter into this true state within him/ herself. The piece should not allude by an means to sexuality but rather the physical exposure is one of intimacy and emotional vulnerability. The relationship between the piano and pianist, and pianist and him/herself, is one of inner struggle and acquiescence. The audience should be thought of as being given a candle lit view of a private space.

poem * In light of darkness In dark of lightness I saw the color of fading brown wood I saw the fading of moving trees on road I fade in light of darkness. * In time I bought, in time I sold In time the sand and sun have burnt my eyes and buried my ears In time I’ve walked for years. * In the dark of light I hide in my shadow I saw a fading skyline I bought a clock and scattered its hands I sold the view of sunset in sand I see the hum of light in darkness. *

Odeya Nini 2011

In Light of Darkness