The Reef

by Maria Kallionpää

A study on corals

For two pianos and video

Empty sheet

Maria Kallionpää

The Reef

Music Finland


With its oceanic topic and use of data sonification as a composition technique, “The Reef” is closely related to my works “El Canto del Mar Infinito” (2020) and “La Danza Invisible del Agua” (2021). The work is based on a sample recorded at Thailand's Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park. Being somewhat limited in its spectral composition, the excerpt consisted of a swimmer proceeding towards a coral reef. Furthermore, the sample’s procedural structure would lend itself as the dramatic arch of the composition. Upon finishing the composition process, a MIDI rendition served as reference for the video artwork created by the visual artist Andre Veloux. Its abstract visual surfaces follow the music in a detailed manner: on top of serving as a structure of the musical composition, the timing of the original sound recording also informed the structure of the live visuals.

The goal of this series of works discussed above is to draw attention on the importance of protecting our marine environments. Together with the real-time video artwork, the music of “The Reef” paints a picture of the gradual damaging that pollution causes to the coral reefs. However, with the help of computer-based analysis, also the vivid colors of such ecosystems were translated into music, giving us a gleam of hope. Maybe it is not too late to do something?

- Maria Kallionpää


2pno, video ad lib


Chamber Works

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by Luo Ting and New Arts Collaborative project in San Francisco

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