Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Preparing for a Recital

Even though I usually only perform once a year at best, this fall has seen a large upswing in my performing schedule. It started when I began talking with George Keck about my coming down to Ouachita Baptist University, the ole alma mater, to perform Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano. You may remember that I performed the work on a Musicircus in Kansas City a little over a year ago. I love the work and am always looking for opportunities to play it, so we scheduled the concert for the day before Halloween, and I began preparing (in all the senses needed for the work).

I decided to open up my preparation of the piano to any interested students; over twenty showed up. Misty and Stephen came for the performance and Misty took pictures while Stephen helped me prepare. The number of curious students should have made me realize that the concert was going to be a big event. I was expecting perhaps 50-100 people for a odd Cage recital. At least 250 showed up. The concert was great fun, and the audience members seemed to be entranced by the sounds floating out of the piano. Both before and after the concert the piano was mobbed by people wanting to look inside; I think the piano was a bigger celebrity than myself as performer.

After I had scheduled the Cage performance, a student with whom I'd worked on a project about postminimalist piano music asked me to play David Borden's Double Portrait with him. Long fascinated by this beautiful piece of music, how could I say no? So this Saturday, only two weeks after my Cage performance, I'm on stage again playing a piece that has challenged me in ways no traditional piece of music ever has. Perhaps after this weekend I can take a small break.

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