Human Musical Possibilities: John Stump, 1944-2006.

I love music, I hear at least once ever ything that I come across, even the hardcore gabber deevo used to post, or the anime stuff neko puts on the blogs. The wide variety of music mixes, different instruments and styles is overwhelming. You can find anything you ever imagined already done by someone else, from a dub version of trololo, to a ska version of love her madly by the doors.  I was cruisin the net, watching some videos when I came across a very strange video.  Its a tutorial to play 4 hand piano, meaning a piece composed so that two people play a piano song simultaneously. Heres an example:

As the video description goes,

Player 1 Left Hand = Blue

Player 1 Right Hand = Green

Player 2 Left Hand = Red

Player 2 Right Hand = Purple


This piece in particular, not so difficult, sounds like Tetris music or something. So, moving to the real deal. The video I mentioned at the start was this one, titled Midi Nickelodeon playing CIRCUS GALOP ITS INSANE. Nickelodeon pianos where like old time jukeboxes, you could throw some money in, and the bastard would start playing on its own. Here is the video in question: 


Pure madness. I started to do some research on player pianos (aka autopiano or pianola) and on this particular composition. It was made by Marc-André Hamelin, a piano virtuoso. To grasp the idea of an actual human playing this (or two human beings), lets go back to the piano simulator playing Circus Galop and see how does this looks:

So this would have to take a couple of solid piano players, and a lot of practice if humans really tried to play it. In a quick search, you wont find this live. Just when I was saying, fuck, thats difficult I came across thisridiculously complex and beautiful composition. Its called Death Waltz and its by Mr. John Arthur Stump:

Mind=Blown. A Mysterious man this Stump fellow.


No Wikipedia data, not much references to him anywhere, but then I found this jewel:

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This sheet of music tells a lot about this mans genius. I found it in a blog of his nephew  that gives some info on the man and his work. He passed away in 2006, and its a real shame that his work is being forgiven. Heres the link to the actual blog:


The actual design of the composition is intended, I believe, to be played in an auto piano. Can you imagine 2 personas actually playing this tune in a piano? What a chaos! If youve seen Gattaca, maybe you remember the 6 fingers pianist, genetically made to play impossible compositions. Would that be needed to play Death Waltz? What is the chance that 2 pianist will play this in the future? If John Stump could imagine this being played, then it can happen. 

Have a nice day.




Uploaded 09/06/2011
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