Instrumentation: Solo Amplified Piano
Duration: 9-10 minutes
Date of Composition: 2008
Stress Position is a staged composition for solo amplified piano. Composed in the wake of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, all elements of the work are intended to address the topic of torture. The title itself refers to a general technique whereby all or most of one's body weight is directed toward a particular muscle group. There are many possible configurations and the resulting strain can cause grotesque swelling.
Throughout the duration of Stress Position, the pianist must play an unrelenting series of repeated notes at opposite ends of the instrument. This causes the arms to remain extended for the duration of the work. In addition, each hand is stretched to further extremes as pitches are slowly added. Stress Position was written for Marilyn Nonken.
Purchase a Recording:
Find a complete recording of Stress Position and other major piano works by Drew Baker on Marilyn Nonken's 2011 disc Stress Position, released by New Focus Recordings. Click the "Add to Cart" button below to purchase a CD with complete liner notes or find digital downloads on iTunes and Amazon.