This work for piano and tape was written specifically for Stephan Casurella. Stephan is one the finest pianist I have ever had the honor of working with. In this work, I concerned myself with drawing on the performer's strengths, while still challenging the performer's technique to fall in line with my own aesthetic. Stephan, who is also a very fine composer, is a major contributer to this work. His participation in the creation of Stratum insured a truly collaborative piece of music for which I am very proud.
On a technical level, the piano writing explores multiple layers of the register and rhythm. Also, I focused on sharp contrasts in dynamics, and on the exploitation of two pitch set-classes that interest me. Every sound in the tape part is derived from a recording session which involved Stephan and myself. The entire tape part, including mixing, was created using these samples and realized with CSound on a Macintosh computer. The tape part makes use of more ambient sounds at times when the piano is more active, and makes use of motion when the piano is more static.
Special thanks to Dr. Robert L. Cooper for his technical and musical assistance.