A collaboration between Blom and Smyly, Playing with Fire explores the sounds of live acoustic piano and distorted piano. The two sound sources borrow and share pitch fields and texture blocks. At times the live piano is foregrounded and at other times the CD soundbed engulfs the piano sound. Playing with Fire grew from Smyly's concentrated studio production practice, a process of trial and experimentation both in the recording room and inside the ProTools music production software. The two spent productive hours trying different microphones, signal processing and amplification set-ups to explore distorted piano sounds. Smyly took recordings they made and built the sound-bed for the piece. The result captures the immediacy of the improvised gestures, drawn into a sonic narrative that highlights the piano's ability to adapt to a sound space usually occupied by more contemporary instruments.
Co-composed with Brendan Smyly