“Chimers — which pits a clarinet and violin against a shimmering chorus of tuning forks — proved that Chen is a master of the art of play — serious, serious play.”–Washington Post
Chimers is written for five players:
Tuning fork player
The piece requires no electronics except for toy piano amplification. A contact microphone is placed under the lid of the toy piano for two functions. First, is to amplify the instrument so that its volume matches the other acoustic instruments. Second, is to amplify the sound of the tuning forks. Since tuning forks need to be placed on a resonating chamber after being struck, the forks are placed on top of the toy piano lid, allowing the microphone from the instrument to pick up the pitches of the tuning fork. By using a low-fi speaker/sound system for amplification, the tuning forks resonate with a slight distortion that is desirable. Every player is responsible for two or three different tuning fork pitches throughout the work. These chorale sections demand additional attention for choreography/movement around the toy piano.