Three Optical Allusions
for solo piano (1995/2001)
duration: 6’
GRT • 078

recording available
Satellite Mapping
Complete works for solo piano (1989–2014)
Amir Farid
Move Records, MD3402, 2016

audio sample
3: Möbius Strip

score available from
Promethean Editions

program note
These pieces present rhythmic puzzles which 'allude' to corresponding visual 'illusions'. Solar Eclipse explores the ratio 3:4. The syncopation within this ratio seems to generate a vortex of rhythmic gravity within a harmonic structure that moves toward and then away from a perfect eclipse of the sun.

Time–lapse Photograph, a simple rising motive in the left hand repeats over and over – each time a little longer. Independently, the right hand develops a more syncopated, 'blurred' melodic line. Once the photograph is 'coloured in' it fades away (in similar fashion to Solar Eclipse).

Möbius Strip (as drawn by M.C. Escher) is a length of paper looped and joined at the ends but with one end turned around 180 degrees. This creates an object with only one plane, since the front merges into the back and vice versa. This musical 'allusion' is based around the opening 5–note cell, which loops seamlessly upon itself, expanding and contracting like a möbius strip. Toward the end it modulates pivotally through the flat cycle of keys, launching upwards into infinity.

“Australian Stuart Greenbaum achieves the right balance of simplicity and complexity in Time Lapse Photograph, pitching a minimalist left hand part against irregular rhythms in the right.”
Catherine Martin, Ritmico (NZ), March 2006