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Smart Dust

for piano
Product number: ED 13581
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Product Details


'Smart Dust' devices are tiny wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) which are able to sense everything from light to vibrations. Thanks to new developments in silicon processing, these 'motes' are no larger than a sand grain even though they are provided with sensors, circuits, wireless communications and a power supply. They collect enormous amounts of data, perform calculations and are able to exchange such information even over distances of 300 metres. Today, one is developing commercial application possibilities, such as for the search for manufacturing defects or for the care of patients, but of course this 'Smart Dust', this barely visible intelligent dust, is particularly suited to spy on people and detect movements of the enemy in the case of war. Perhaps, one day, we will get rid of a potential observer when rubbing a sand grain from our eyes.

They are tiny cells which are able to communicate with each other, build up a network among themselves, observe the environment and, above all, they can be blown through open windows into rooms without being noticed. The music too is about similar tiny cells, about strange sounds of a sound-reduced piano, 'simple circuits', i.e. basic information which are retransmitted, musical motifs from the everyday urban environment which then have to be aligned with each other and processed in a control centre, in the head of the listener. Omnipresent, dangerous elements. The motor energy (the power from the battery) decreases in the course of the little pieces, the flow of information slows down. The piano is deprepared during its course, the elements become more readable and audible. A broad stylistic expanse is traversed in a very brief space, as if a 'smart dust transmitter' lands on the turban of a muezzin and the next one a hundred metres farther in a discothèque. Or even better: one transmitter in a Lachenmann score, the next one in the beard of Arvo Pärt.

- Thomas Larcher

More Information

Smart Dust
for piano
Level of difficulty:
Schott Music
Year of composition:
12 ′
World Premiere:
November 26, 2005 · Luzern (CH)
Luzerner Saal
Lucerne Festival 2005
Thomas Larcher, Klavier

Commissioned work :
Auftragswerk für das Lucerne Festival

Technical Details

Product number:
ED 13581

Preview/Media Contents



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  • Smart Dust
    January 16, 2021 | Maastricht (Netherlands)
  • Smart Dust
    January 16, 2021 | Maastricht (Netherlands)
  • Smart Dust
    March 30, 2019 | Córdoba (Spain) , Festival de Música Contemporánea de Córdoba
  • Smart Dust
    March 16, 2019 | Alicante (Spain) , Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante
  • Smart Dust
    March 12, 2019 | Wien (Austria) , Arnold Schönberg Center
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