The Moth for 2 grand pianos and animation

In “The Moth”, the audience is presented with a mystery dotted shape on which an image of a giant moth is being drawn (a form of the piece). Each dot is a symbol of a different set of pitches and The Moth is a way of a graphic representation of the 12-tone-system. It can be read both vertically and horizontally. If followed from left to right – the amount of dots in a column tells you how many scales you can build using just this interval, for example, the minor second gives us 1 chromatic scale, the major second gives us 2 whole tone scales, etc. Performers are challenged by playing in strict coordination, yet aleatoric – performing the harmonic material at the same time as it’s being drawn on the video. Extended use of the sostenuto pedal for both pianists creates an image of additional sound layers.

I’d like to dedicate this piece to my dad, who came up with an idea of a Moth in a funny conversation: “- (…) ok dad, so this is my harmonic idea. – I said – it’s a really cool moth son! – responded my dad”


Composition: Adam Łukawski

Visual imagery: Julia Szczygielska

Performance: Kyle Nash-Baker & Ugne Vazgileviciute

Milton Court Concert Hall, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, UK