Cast sprang from a conversation about relationships between visual art and music with my pianist collaborator Jin Hyung Lim. We decided to use László Moholy-Nagy’s Light-Space Modulator (1930) as the starting point for a short piano concerto. This is an abstract sculpture made of metal and glass that rotates on a disc whilst various components of different shapes and sizes move in mysterious ‘kinetic plays’. It is most effective in a dark room with spotlights trained upon it, which shine through its shifting surfaces creating hypnotic displays of light and shadow on the walls around it.

In the music, the piano is the mechanical object surrounded by the walls of the ensemble onto which it projects its shapes and movements, whilst mechanical and cyclical ideas vary like the components of the sculpture.

The piece is dedicated to Terry Holmes and Jin Hyung Lim.

15 minutes
Piano soloist and nine players
picc(=afl).cl.ob(=CA) – hn – perc(1): mar/glock/4 toms/BD – pno(solo) – strings(

Cast should ideally be performed in an auditorium where three separate instrumental groups can be placed behind/around the audience.

Written on receipt of the University of York’s Terry Holmes Composer/Performer Award 2015, based on a joint application with pianist Jin Hyung Lim

Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Light-Space Modulator), 1930, László Moholy-Nagy


04/05/2016 Jin Hyung Lim (piano),
University of York Chamber
Ensemble (cond. John Stringer)
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall,