Philip Glass: Études for Piano, Book I


Shards is an audiovisual performance of Philip Glass’ first book of Études for Piano. The recital incorporates ten pieces of music accompanied by animation both performed live on stage. The moving images projected on a circular screen, act as the sole illumination source of the concert hall. An audiovisual instrument that turns music into light. Shards is a vibrant conversation between the two performers who become visible through the light of the animation.

In the past, composers often created new instruments for the music they imagined. Similarly, the visuals are generated using custom software specifically designed for the performance. The progression of the animation is based on the structural analysis of each song. Instead of developing a fully automated visual system, emphasis was given to responsive interactions and expressive gestures through the use of an input controller. The visual performer transduces the musical performance into a dynamically evolving visual piece.

A unique composer – a unique musical work: Glass’ Etudes for Piano, Book I is a kaleidoscopic collection of pieces: ten self-contained compositions, evoking ten different feelings, using diverse structural schemes. Glass’ powerful dramatic drive, his lyricism and his minimalist repetitions create a sense of controlling the flow of time. 

These elements turn Glass’ music into the perfect canvas for visualizing sentiments, and unleashing their storytelling potential. Just as the Études were composed to explore a variety of tempi, textures, and piano techniques, equally the visuals are designed as a series of studies exploring forms, color palettes and dynamic motions. Εvolving from, and emphasizing the characteristic structure of each composition, the animation aspire to further enhance the unique emotions of each individual Étude.


Duration: ~70 minutes




A Phormigx and EmptyFilm co-production

Piano: Nikolaos Laaris
Animation & Live Visuals: Georgios Cherouvim
Director & Producer: Dimitris Delinikolas / EmptyFilm
Executive Producer: Christos Tsenes / Phormigx
Art Director: Giorgos Georgiou

Project website


Nostos Fesatival at NSFCC 2021
(Athens, Greece)


Piano Etude No 6