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Morten Qvenild: HyPer(sonal) Piano

Towards a (per)sonal topography of grand piano and electronics.

Field of study: Artistic Research (Jazz Piano)


Research Question

Qvenild asks: "How can I develop a grand piano with live electronics through iterated development loops in the cognitive technological environment of instrument, music, performance and my poetics?"


The instrument Qvenild is developing, a grand piano with electronic augmentations, is adapted to cater for his poetics. This adaptation of the instrument will change the way he composes:

"The change of composition will change the music. The change of music will change my performance. The change in performative needs will change the instrument because it needs to do different things. This change in the instrument will show me other poetic perspectives and change my ideas. The change of ideas demands another music and another instrument because the instrument should cater to my poetics. And so it goes…"

These are the development loops Qvenild is talking about.


Qvenild has made an augmented grand piano using various music technologies. He calls the instrument the HyPer(sonal) Piano, a name derived from the suspected interagency between the extended instrument (HyPer), the personal (my poetics) and the sonal result (music and sound). He uses old analogue guitar pedals and my own computer programming side by side, processing the original piano sound. He also takes out control signals from the piano keys to drive different sound processes. The sound output of the instrument is deciding colours, patterns and density on a 1x3 meter LED light carpet attached to the grand piano. He sings, yet the sound of his voice is heavily processed, a processing that's decided by what he is playing on the keys. All sound sources and control signal sources are interconnected, allowing for complex and sometimes incomprehensible situations in the instrument´s mechanisms.


Full title: HyPer(sonal) Piano. Towards a (per)sonal topography of grand piano and electronics.

Artistic Result

The project documentation includes the following parts:

  • The Abums Personal Piano and the Karman Line
  • Concerts at NMH 16-17 August 2016

Written documentation

Qvenilds critical reflection is available in NMH's digital archive Brage (interactive pdf)

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Published: Aug 26, 2014 — Last updated: Mar 14, 2024