this was me this weekend:
piano piano piano!
50 billion notes!
4 pianos + over-the-top epic rep =
broken strings and lots of scampering
The pianos at Garth Newel got a lot of use this past week, because not only were they being played four times as much as usual, but I may have picked some extremely bombastic and maniacal music for the programs. But our fantastic and fascinating guest pianists, Genevieve Lee, Read Gainsford, and Stijn deCock, were game for anything. Because what’s a piano extravaganza without some huzzah?
It was a real comfort to have Stijn here in the 9th week of the summer; it’s been a lot of concerts and a lot of rep, and to have one of my closest friends from Michigan here definitely helped me stay more sane. He played beautifully, and we hope to see him back here again!
This was my first time meeting Genevieve, but we’ve had such lovely interactions on email throughout the year that it felt like I already knew her. She was such a warm and wonderful person, and just awesome to work with. And what a help she was! Since she knows the lay of the land, she gave me valuable advice, as well made it possible to perform the piano and electronics pieces I had programmed because of her experience and knowledge. I’m so glad to have this chance to get to know her, and I look forward to collaborations in the future!
Of course, I have to thank Read for powering through the maniacal rep I gave him, which he did with guts and oomph. I call him the Zenmaster for grounding me as I popped along like a manic squirrel.
We also had a visiting composer! Lance Hulme, professor at NCCU, who wrote the virtuosic and thrilling Manic Music: for two maniacal pianists, came all the way from Greensboro, NC, to hear Read and I perform it on Sunday. He brought his lovely wife, Clara O’Brien, voice professor at UNCG, as well as gave a pre-performance talk about his piece and the composition process. They seemed delighted with the warmth and beauty of Garth Newel, and we are grateful for the chance to meet and play for him!
We had loads of fun, which is not always the case when many pianists get together. These three happened to be some of the most chill and normal pianists around, and I definitely appreciated the variety of ideas and styles they brought to this weekend.