Eliane Lust performs "Chronicle of a Piano Woman", Paris
Internationally renowned concert pianist Eliane Lust was raised in Belgium and has performed to critical acclaim on the world’s most prestigious concert stages from Paris to New York.
Those who have been fortunate enough to hear her can attest to her amazing ability to melt into the piano and control it from the inside.
Le Piano Studio
Her Le Piano Studio is the elegant epicenter of her rehearsal and teaching activities, and the site of a glorious Fête-Concert on Sun 03 Mar.
Following on the last Fête-Concert devoted to Cage and Debussy, I’m very excited to rejoin a party of some of the most fascinating pianists in the Bay Area who will together present an exciting and eclectic program ranging from classical to avant-garde, and spanning continents from Europe to Persia, India, and Japan (plus definitely… more Cage!)
John Cage at the piano
The event will start around 4pm and end around 11pm, during which most of the works will be repeated several times in between bouts of food, laughter and good company.
The Fête-Concert is a private rather than public affair, but I can wrangle some invitations to this unique event.
If you’d like to come, please contact me at email@example.com as soon as possible, and I’ll see what I can do to get you in and let you know more details.
Patti Deuter performs Cage's "Four Walls" @ Berkeley Arts Festival
My partner in crime for the two-piano/two-pianist piece Two² by Cage will be the delightful and brilliant pianist Patti Deuter, organizer and ringleader of the last September’s Satie/Cage Vexations at Berkeley Arts.
Patti Deuter (left, at toy piano): "Violette Nozieres, Revenant". (Performance-Installation with toy piano & projection of Surrealist Book; Patti Deuter & Anna Wexler @ Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, MA, 2009) Photo: ©Jane Wang
Often found in Paris as well as California, and a student of Eliane Lust’s, Patti is an indefatigable macherin of the new music and piano scenes of the Bay Area. From her studio-cottage nestled in the trees, where everything is keyed to one of four vibrant synesthetic colors (forming, I would say, a visual rootless 13th chord in second inversion… Scriabin would approve), passionate strains of Rzewski, Cage, Wolff, and other masters of 20th and 21st century piano escape to infuse the air.
John Cage and D.T. Suzuki (鈴木 大拙 貞太郎)
As is well known, John Cage was heavily influenced by Zen Buddishm and Japanese culture in general, and the piece we’ll perform, Two², is his remarkable musical re-imagining of the fascinating traditional Japanese linked-verse form, renga (連歌).
With beginnings in the time of the Man’yōshū (万葉集), c. 760 A.D., renga evolved into a very sophisticated game played by connoisseurs who used its 5-line stanzas consisting of a 5-7-5 syllable haiku (俳句) + a 7-7 syllable response in an interplay of group-improvised linked-verse, exchanged among the members of a (usually saké-soaked) poetry party (not unlike the similar game of cadavre exquis played in graphical form by the Paris surrealists).
Renga paper of poet Nishiyama Sōin (西山宗因連歌懐紙)
Japanese poetry fiends took renga to remarkable heights of sophistication, defining an elaborate aesthetic of seasonal symbolism, pivot-stanzas referring to moon and cherry blossoms, and special gold-and-silver dusted papers of different shapes, sizes and colors, corresponding to distinct parts of the symbolic program, to brush their poems onto whilst sipping from cups of saké brought to them sushi-boat-style by special garden streams constructed for this purpose.
John Cage performs "Water Walk" on "I've Got A Secret"
Cage’s luminous and serene Two² for 2 pianists uses the 36-stanza kasen (歌仙) form of renga, re-imagining each of the 5-line stanzas as 5-measure musical units, each filled with 5 or 7 piano sound-events which replace the syllables of the original poetic form.
Say hello to my little friend...
Like many of the other Cage “number pieces”, the timing of the musical events in Two² is not strictly determined, but unlike the “time bracket” approach to indeterminacy found in many of the number pieces, here instead Cage sets up a marvelous game of simple rules to let the two pianists create an interlinked joint control of fluid time, a game in which they can support or subvert each other, creating meditative kaleidoscopic ripples of piano sound which will be uniquely different in each performance.
Similar to Western classical music forms having 3 movements, renga-sequences employ 3 sections, called Jō-ha-kyū (序 • 破 • 急).
While Patti and I will do the full hour+ version of Two² in a concert setting later in 2013, for this event, we’ll do the first jō “movement” (stanzas 1-6), including one of the three “moon stanzas” of the kasen form. (In Eliane’s last Fête, we did the final movement, so naturally this time we continue with the beginning…)
Modern Renga Banquet at the Shusuitei in the Kyoto Imperial Park (連歌の会席〜京都御苑内の拾翠亭にて）
And we will honor the tradition of alcohol-assisted creativity, as we’ll be marking the end of each stanza with ceremonial libations (which may lead to some interesting musical results as we repeat performances during the event…).
Some of the most exciting pianists in the Bay Area will be joining us. A full list is not in hand, but here are some of the pianists who will perform:
Frank Clare – Original compositions, e.g. Undercover, Subterrean, The Call, The Libertine, & Some Distraction
Patti Deuter (solo) – Cage: The Seasons, 1947
Jim Jowdy – Brahms: Handel Variations
Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)
Joe Lasqo – Original MSP/piano electroacoustic pieces, e.g.:
— Hexaflected Flakes (Rāga: All-interval Hexachord, mirror form), laptop & piano, by Joe Lasso
— VoxForm 3, laptop & piano, by Joe Lasqo
The Saturnian meta-rāga Śani-Haṭakaṅgi (शनि-हटकङी).
These electroacoustic auto-duets are often based on extended meta-rāgas incorporating timbal as well as pitch-based melodies, and employ a variety of signal-processing and AI techniques for direct electronic synthesis and processing of diverse sound sources such as space probes, manipulated vowel formants, crowds and animals, etc.
Formants - Hot, Hat, Hit, Head
Also, rāgas & Indian classical pieces adapted for the piano, e.g.:
— Brochevārevarurā by Tyāgarāja (Rāga: Śrīranjani) [త్యాగరాజు: ப்ரோசே வாரவெருரா (ராகம்: ஸ்ரீ ரஞ்ஜனி, தாளம்: ஆதி)]
(Tyāgarāja, 1767–1847, was a member of the South Indian “Trinity” of composers, contemporaneous with Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven and occupying a similar position in S. Indian music history.)
— Kṛti composition in Rāga: Māyāmāḻavagauḻa (ராகம்: மாயாமாளவகௌளை), from my album Turquoise Sessions.
and, for something completely different…. possibly some dances from Bach Cello Suite #5. All above except the Bach will have a combination of composed & improvised sections.
Joe Lasqo & Patti Deuter – Cage: Two² (see above)
Ric Louchard – Original composition, “Waltz”
David Manley at the piano
David Manley – Original compositions + Brubeck: Blue Rondo à la Turk
Roger Rohrbach at the piano
Roger Rohrbach: Toru Takemitsu (武満徹): Litany I
Kelly Walker at the piano
Kelly Walker: David Lang: wed
Ramin Zoufonoun (رامین ذوفنون)
Ramin Zoufonoun (رامین ذوفنون):
— Persian classical music adapted for piano.
I must call a bit of attention to Ramin’s pioneering and inspiring work in adapting the unique modes (dastgāh (دستگاه)), motivic inventories (radīf (ردیف)), and microtonal tunings of Perisan music to the piano.
It has been fascinating to compare notes with him in our respective journeys in the encounter between perhaps the most Western of instruments and aspects of Asian and Middle Eastern music which fall between the cracks of the piano keys.
Ramin Zoufonoun (رامین ذوفنون) with tools for Persian-tuning a piano
In this endeavor, Ramin has become adept at retuning pianos to accommodate the super-flat thirds and other microtonal intervals of Persian music.
Getting In Tune by Ramin Zoufonoun (رامین ذوفنون)
The wonderful results can be heard on his album, Getting In Tune.
Eliane Lust at Old First Church, San Francisco (Photo credit: Panithi Damrongkul)
The highlight of the Fête-Concert will no doubt be the brilliantly intimate sound of Eliane Lust, who’ll play selections from her brilliant Hot New Tangos program. Those who heard the premier of this program at Old Saint Mary’s in November will attest to it’s vivid freshness and virtuosity.
Eliane’s innovative programming and adventurous musicianship have garnered her award recognition from the California Art Council and invitations as the featured piano soloist in several multi-media productions. Her uncommon piano repertoire ranges from classical masterpieces to brand new works being written for her by today’s leading contemporary composers. As concert curator Eliane has also created groundbreaking musical events such as the “O Solo Milhaud” 100th Anniversary Piano Marathon, to the Musicalliance Concert Series, to Mozart Madness, simultaneously presenting her dynamic master classes, lecture-recitals and clinics throughout the United States, Europe and French Polynesia.
Eliane has participated in the Aspen, Banff, Ernen, Montalvo, Spoleto and Tanglewood Music Festivals and performed at Carnegie Recital Hall, the Paderewski Festival, Chateau LaGesse, the Dame Myra Hesse Series, Musiconcerts, the Legion of Honor, Les Journées de Périgueux, and others. She’s appeared as soloist with the NJ Philharmonic, the Schubert Society of New York, Boston’s Orchestra & Chorale Society, the Diablo Symphony & the New England Contemporary Ensemble, among others. Her chamber music collaborations include performances with such luminaries as Anner Bylsma, Walter Trampler, Ron Leonard, Aurèle Nicolet and Frederic Rzewski.
A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Eliane’s musical roots lead directly to the historic pedagogies of both Beethoven and Liszt through her close studies with legendary pianists György Sebök and Leonard Shure. Other important influences include American pianists Richard Goode, Claude Frank, Aube Tzerko, Leon Fleisher, Joseph Kalichstein, Menahem Pressler and chamber coaches Yo-Yo Ma (馬友友), Gilbert Kalish, Eugene Lehner (Léner Jenő) and Louis Krasner (Луис Краснер). A notoriously inspiring coach, Eliane maintains an active master class studio for highly dedicated musicians and performers in San Francisco, California. More information at elianelust.com.
Join us for a unique gathering of musical friends at this Fête-Concert by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible for one of a limited number of invitations.