Panayiotis Kokoras (1974)

Breakwater (2000)

for solo tape

electronic work

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2000
    • Duration: 8 mn 8 s
    • Publisher: Inédit

Premiere information

  • Date: 10 October 2000

    Belgique, Bruxelles, Chapelle de Boondael.

Information on the electronics
Electronic device: sons fixés sur support


  • 4e Prix du JTTP 2003 - Jeu de temps / Times Play - de Londres.
  • Finaliste de la "XXIII Luigi Russolo 2001 International Electroacoustic Music Composition" de Varese, Italie.

Program note

Breakwater was composed during the autumn of 2000. When I started to work on the piece, I was thinking how I could expand the sound of piano – without losing the essential sensation of piano sound. It is the first piece of a project in process entitled Grand Piano Trilogy. This trilogy is based upon the sound of the piano. The sound source of the work comes from around, below and inside the piano played in various ‘unconventional ways’ (such as scraping, hitting and strumming). In Breakwater some of the materials are produced by prepared piano sounds derived by the table of John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano (1946-48).

The breaking waves, crashing onto a breakwater of very large boulders on the western shores of the Saronic Gulf in Greece, create a strong perceptual and psychological effect on the observer. After listening over and over again to a recorded sample of the sound of the splash over the breakwater, I made a phenomenological reduction, cutting away everything that masked the true nature of the phenomenon, and I applied it to the piano. The whole physical and emotional experience is now recreated through a metamorphosis of an abstract musical idea based more on the piano's "explosive sound waves".

Many short and energetic samples constitute cells which are combined to produce phrases and to construct sections. The idea passes from one part to another through a constant sound modification.

Panayiotis Kokoras