Shane R Monds - Jamais Vu


Jamais Vu is a piece for solo acoustic piano which has been re-intonated. The title refers to a phenomenological experience where something already experienced feels unfamiliar or as if one is experiencing it for the first time. For example, hearing one's own voice on a recording can feel unfamiliar or strangely “off.” This work explores this idea through the formal structure and the experience of listening to an slightly altered piano tuning. The “piano-ness” is not lost but the overall timbre and sonority is changed in a way that hopefully produces the interest and strageness of Jamais Vu.

Tuning information:

Jamais Vu is for solo piano where 16 of the 88 keys are retuned. The three "black" note clusters from Gb-Bb above Bb2 are retuned so that they align with the natural overtones of C. Therefore, Bbs are approximately 30 cents flat of ET (depending on the exact scale design and string specifications of the piano). Likewise, Gb's are roughly 45 cents flat of ET, and G#'s are 40-50 cents sharp of ET. The remaining 72 notes should be tuned at or very close to Equal Temperament based on the tuner's discretion.

Composer bio:

A composer, pianist, piano technician, and art collaborator, Mr. Monds's affinity for dynamic, progressive performance can be seen in his work Poems, a multi-channel electronic work with performance art, percussion, and photography. Mr. Monds works in many mediums, seeing each project as a new place for sonic exploration. He has composed music for orchestras, film, micro-tonal piano, art installations, Cajun fiddle, traditional Chinese instruments and much more. His music has been heard at a variety of venues ranging from St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican to the documentary film channel to the City Hall in Nafplio, Greece. Mr. Monds has received major commissions from the Indianapolis Symphonic Chorus, The Louisiana Sinfonietta, and the Vechhione/Erdahl Duo. He has presented his music and lectured at the Aichi School of the Arts (Nagoya, Japan), Butler University, and Indiana University. Mr. Monds is currently the Robert Yekovich Teaching Fellow at Rice University where he is pursuing a doctorate.