Juergen Mayer - Klaviatur Picture
For 22 pianists

Duration: ca. 17′

Piece info

Spektrum, a piece for 22 pianists, is a musical exploration of the concepts of space and time.

The spectrum itself, which extends over all 88 keys of the keyboard, is divided into a total of 22 spectral ranges of 4 notes each – hence exactly 22 pianists. Each of these 22 pianists opens its own spectral range in its own tempo and at – to the second – predetermined time. Thus the spectrum, which at the beginning consists of only one spectral range (i.e. one pianist) and therefore of only 4 tones, is gradually filled up to all 88 tones.

In the 2nd section of the piece, the sound event condenses into a flickering, i.e. the strict tempo component of the individual players is cancelled out by freely executed double trills, before in the 3rd section, through pedal action, the sound carpet melts into a static overall impression in which time seems to stand still. Nevertheless – even if not audible from the outside – the spectrum is still in strict temporal dependence, because again to the second the sound structure begins to fade away into infinity. Only here the final dissolution of the time component takes place.

Space and Time

The concept of space is reflected in the arrangement of the individual spectral ranges. It is exactly determined when what happens where, i.e. when which player with which specific tones opens up his individual spectral range.
Thus Spektrum is equally a mirror of our society. Each of us is a part of a large overall spectrum, without which this spectrum would have a gap, which explains the task area (here spectral area) of each individual.

As for the time component, the strict temporal division of the piece symbolizes nothing other than our earthly life, in which time is known to be our greatest enemy. The timeless state is reached in the piece only at the very end, at a given point in time. This point in time symbolizes our death, because only after that does eternity begin.