One Is Too Few

One Is Too Few, for prepared piano, belongs to a series of pieces inspired by the essay ‘A Cyborg Manifest’ written by Donna Haraway, in which I propose a hybrid process that allows to explore the conceptual confrontation between organism-machine, physical-non-physical, and natural-artificial. In this case, the author explains how to be one is to be autonomous and powerful, while being other is to be multiple, without clear boundary—one is too few, but two are too many; and how high-tech culture challenges this dualism. Following Haraway´s reflection: ‘Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert’, the piano preparation aims the creation of a timbral experience that responds to these perceptual experiences of disturbance and frightening, explored through the antagonism of live-inert from the instrumental techniques and the performer’s skills. Consequently, the piece presents three evident sections that are thought as the cycle of an old washing machine, which stops abruptly to start another action; however, there is an intended delicacy that wraps the whole piece and is appreciated through the fragility of most of the techniques and the filtered/muted resonance of the piano.

This piece was especially written for the British pianist Kate Ledger, who premiered it on 8 September 2022 at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Buy the score here!