Abstract

This article focuses on the process by which, in 1987, sound artist and inventor Trimpin converted composer Conlon Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano from their original hand-punched rolls into the MIDI format. In addition to presenting the technology utilized in this conversion, the article focuses on the collaboration between Trimpin and Nancarrow, and on the significance of the act of porting works composed upon a vulnerable media format to a format that affords extension, analysis and preservation. The article concludes with an overview of a number of example uses of the transcoded Nancarrow scores, including traditional performances and two extended performances and installations.

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