Touch represents an experiment in transparent electronics. I wanted to create a performing environment where technology expands, magnifies and projects the musical gestures of the performer. Four identical musical objects are observed from different points of view, each time using a different transformation tool in order to emphasise a different aspect of piano playing: touch, resonance, the harmonic and melodic dimensions.

The performer is completely in control of the technology and external intervention is kept to a minimum. I achieved this by creating an interface that reacts to the nuances of musical performance in a very subtle way. Specific attention has been given to the detection of the attack of the piano sound: the pianist’s touch triggers each time the whole transformation process.

Premiered by Laure Pinsmail in 2002, Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire. Live recording of the performance given by Jonathan Powell in 2005.


This is the latest version of the live electronics of Touch. It has been tested on a MacBook Pro with macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 and Max version 8.1.4

Download the Touch electronics zip archive

Top-level patcher: Touch.maxpat
Electronics tested with Max 8.1.4
Created a Max collective: Touch.mxf

All files, including Touch.maxpat, contained in the Max8 folder.

External dependencies:

  1. tap.shift~
    from TapTools by Timothy Place, version 4 beta 2 26 April 2013
  2. iana~ and add_synth~
    by Todor Todoroff, ARTeM (Art, Recherche, Technologie et Musique), maintained by IRCAM, MaxSoundBox version 03-2018
  3. bonk~ v1.5
    by Miller Puckette, port by Ted Apel and Barry Threw, 64 bit version by Volker Böhm 22 June 2018
  4. vdb~
    abstractions by Benjamin Thigpen, part of the “bennies” collection, IRCAM Forum distribution



LC, 7 June 2020