PI - Célest Lang (Switzerland)

The étude was inspired by infinity, a concept that is crucial in many fields of mathematics. One of them is plane geometry: a circle has no beginning or an end, and is both complete and infinite. The number π (pi), being the ground for the construction of the piece, is a mathematical constant, defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is approximately equal to 3.14159. It is an irrational number, as it has an infinite and irregular form and cannot be presented as a decimal figure. The composer decided to transform its first digits into music. For that he applied the rarely used decatonic scale. Each digit from 0 to 9 has its counterpart on that scale. In this work, the infinity of performing is symbolised by the use of the circular breathing technique. 

Practising the étude aims at mastering the drawing of circular breath in a low register, and also of scales and intervals from melody to accompaniment.


Célest Lang is an award winning Swiss pianist and composer, whose music was premiered by, among others, the Camerata Zurich. His first piano concerto premiered in 2017. Having studied in Switzerland, he is currently studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich.