Shade Studies | 2014

Shade Studies examines the counterpoint between the acoustic resonance of the piano and sine waves. The music is quiet and built of cadences, silences, and repeated gestures. As the work unfolds, the two resonance systems engage through masking and illumination, creating a brief exploration of musical ‘shade.’ 

This work was generously commissioned by Russ Irwin and is dedicated to Sarah Cahill and Terry Riley. 


Piano and sine waves



Technical Requirements:

• iPad equipped with SAMPL app
• small transducer speaker
• 1/8 cable (6 ft)
• very light amplification (optional)


"Samuel Adams’ 'Shade Studies' was a marvelously constructed meditation on a narrow dynamic field. Softly played notes accompanied by barely audible electronic samples forced our ears to find the spaces between the 'real' sound and the 'electronic' sound. It was magic." 

Marcus Overton, San Diego Tribune

Photo Credit: Charles Redding

Photo Credit: Charles Redding