Mechanical Brain

Music of Sally Greenaway

With a flick of a switch we are teleported to a world of vacuum tubes, logic boards and electrical relays: the dawn of electro-mechanical artificial intelligence. The music pulses and hums, mirroring electrical current. The piano chords ping at specifically determined rhythmic calculations, inspired by the letters from the ENIGMA code (for sending encrypted messages during WW2). The binary dynamic markings produce contrasting, structured, frenetic activity, signifying the computational noises of the Bombe decryption device - the world's first digital computer.

This is a solo piano reduction of a movement from the dramatic music work The 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age for chamber ensemble, actor, set design and lighting design. The full large-scale work was commissioned by the Myer Foundation in conjunction with Melbourne Recital Centre in 2016.

Category: HSC & Education; Piano: Solo & Duets;
Instrumentation: Solo Piano
Year: 2017
Work duration: 3min 30sec
Difficulty/level: Grade 4-5

Versions of this work appear in these recordings

The 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age
Move Records
Released 2018

Performed by Syzygy Ensemble

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