Sandbox of Almach is based on different forms of play – Agon, Alea, Mimicry and Ilinx – as described by French sociologist Roger Caillois. This about 15-minute work for piano solo is divided into different sections according to this background.
Agon represents war-like ideas with its competitive subject. This conception gives quite tensed up overall appearance to it.
Alea doesn’t include any voluntarily played sections or variable order of sections, but instead it includes improvisational sections altering with fully written-out sections, especially in its second appearance, and also mixture of these two. Its role in this work is also to act as interlude between Agon and Mimicry or Mimicry and Ilinx.
Mimicry stands for imitation, which have many different forms in this piece. Imitation can be based on pitch class sets, motives, repetition, horizontal or vertical imitation, and also slow development of phrases.
Finally Ilinx – whirlpool or vertigo – basically stands for altering perception, disorder, or loss of control. Ilinx shows many different layers happening simultaneously together, and at the latter half also glimpses of earlier sections mixing everything together. The main harmony – e-a-b-eb – which is included in every section, is at its most clearly audible at the end of this work.
Almach – Gamma Andromedae – one of the brightest stars of constellation Andromeda, looks a single star for a naked eye, but already with a small telescope it seems to be a double star. With a large telescope the other component of Almach actually reveals to be a triple star, so as a whole Almach is a quadruple star.
Eriko Takahashi – to whom Sandbox of Almach is composed and dedicated to – gave the first performance of this piece in Vienna in 16th of October, 2020.