Luciane Cardassi and Katelyn Clark present a diverse program of music for piano, harpsichord and electronics.This concert features an array of contemporary works for the harpsichord and piano. This combination of instruments has fascinated composers since the mid eighteenth century, as demonstrated through the duo work of CPE Bach, and the countless compositions that can be interpreted on either instrument. In our contemporary performance context, the combination of piano and harpsichord is unusual and deeply engaging, uniting and layering timbre and dynamics in completely new ways. This is explored through a variety of pieces on the program, all written by Canadian composers.
Butterfield’s Souvenir is originally for solo piano, but has been re-imagined by rockeys as a duo that plays with melody and timing in beautiful and playful techniques. Brosin’s interrobang turns the two instruments into each other, tricking the ear with digital manipulation and transparencies. Smith’s Brocade is a delicate intertwining of the harpsichord and piano timbres, and takes the listener on a curated journey through the textures that can be created between plucked and struck actions. Pidgorna’s obsessive circularity of thought is reminiscent of the emotional character pieces from eighteenth-century Paris, with contrasting sections and aggressive treatment of the harpsichord. Lee’s o som do desassossego… reflection on recollection draws inspiration from the book “o livro do desassossego” by Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, and enables the pianist to develop a personalized interpretation of the piece. The program finishes with the premiere of a new work for harpsichord, piano and live electronics by Radford, commissioned through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. This is a concert that draws the listener into another world, and offers a collection of music and silence that transcends time and enters a textural space, a Brocade of sound.
– Intermission –
“a mixture of query and interjection” [http://www.dictionary.com/browse/interrobang], interrobang playfully investigates the complicated and multifaceted relationship between the harpsichord and the piano. Through an interlocking of mechanical, dynamic, and sonic distinctions, the two instruments continuously become one another in this composition: the electronic part of the piece presents a kind of shadow of the notes as played by the performers; each moment of key-release triggers a restatement of the previous note, projected onto the other instrument, and therefore becomes a moment of creation, renewal, and metamorphosis.
Brocade (2013) In combining these two keyboard instruments, I felt I was interlacing two distinctly different colors into a single fabric; the two separate and very beautiful sound worlds wrap around each other, woven but never completely blended. Brocade, a thick, interwoven silk fabric, came to mind as I was working, as it seemed to reflect both the weightiness of the instruments and the delicacy of their colours. I am indebted to Katelyn Clark and Luciane Cardassi for their beautiful interpretation, and to the Canada Council for the Arts for supporting the commission. – Linda Caitlan Smith
…the obsessive circularity of thought… explores our tendency to replay real and imagined conversations, wishing that we said something different and analyzing each phrase from a million different angles. We are tormented by what was and could have been until we find a way to break the cycle and release ourselves. Musically, the piece explores the slight differences in colour and tuning between the strings of the two manuals, obsessively recycling the same notes and patterns with gradual changes. – Anna Pidgorna
o som do desassossege …reflections on recollection (2015)
“If sometimes I say that flowers smile And if I should say that rivers sing, It’s not because I think there are smiles in flowers And songs in the rivers’ flowing… It’s so I can help misguided men Feel the truly real existence of flowers and rivers.”
– Fernando Pessoa, A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe
o som do desassossege…reflection on recollection is composed with the support of a Canada Council commissioning grant for New Works Calgary’s special event on October 1, 2015, featuring a concert dedicated to John Peter Lee Roberts, a remarkable supporter, innovator and administrator for contemporary music. – Hope Lee
Reson III (2017)
Risonanza sospendere | Risonanza macchinazione | Resonancia liquida | Resonantia distorsionado | Résonance interne
Reson III is the third in a series of pieces that continues my research and writing involving resonance as both a physical, acoustic phenomenon as well as a metaphorical concept. Resonance is, of course, at the heart of the acoustic reality of acoustic musical instruments as well as the spaces in which music and sound of all types and genres are experienced. The study of resonance through filters, physical modeling, and virtual and architectural spaces has provided valuable insight into the sonic world we inhabit and for which sonic artists create. Reson III employs resonance as a conceptual framework with the objective of deriving musical elements and objects form the contrasting resonant characteristics of the instruments of the harpsichord and piano. While the piano, depending on its size, provides considerable resonant possibilities, the harpsichord is much more limited. Yet, a “resonance in memory” of the harpsichord sonorities can maintain a sound in our perception long after its energy is spent. The 8-channel live electronic processing contributes to the “resonating” of the harpsichord and piano sounds and even more so of the larger instrument involved: the performance space itself. Resonance also figures in the structural activity of the piece, with certain elements “resonating” in an ever-evolving and increasingly processed fashion throughout the course of the work. Reson III was commissioned the rockeys duo (Katelyn Clark – harpsichord, Luciane Cardassi – piano) with funding from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. – lr
* Commissioned through the Canada Council for the Arts Commissioning of Canadian Compositions Program
** World Premiere commissioned through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts