Sunday, August 5

studies for player piano : the work of conlon nancarrow

"The expatriate American experimentalist composer Conlon Nancarrow is increasingly recognized as having one of the most innovative musical minds of this century. His music, almost all written for player piano, is the most rhythmically complex ever written, couched in intricate contrapuntal systems using up to twelve different tempos at the same time. Yet despite its complexity, Nancarrow's music drew its early influence from the jazz pianism of Art Tatum and Earl Hines and from the rhythms of Indian music; Nancarrow's whirlwinds of notes are joyously physical in their energy. Composed in almost complete isolation from 1940, this music has achieved international fame only in the last few years."
- Kyle Gann, author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow

On the 100 year anniversary of his birth, Avant Gardening explores the work of this breathtakingly innovative, largely self taught 20th Century American composer, who lived most of his life in Mexico and famously stated he couldn't himself play the piano. The show includes excepts from a lively conversation between Nancarrow and his friend and supporter Charles Amirkhanian (himself a fascinating composer and radio-maker, who will no doubt be a subject of a future AG show), discussing the player piano as instrument, and associated musings on the connection to jazz rhythms, record collecting, mechanisation, getting rid of the performer, and "out-noting Weburn".



1. Conlon Nancarrow, Contraption no.1 (1993)
2. Conlon Nancarrow, Study no. 30 for prepared piano (undated)
3. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 1)
4. Conlon Nancarrow, Sonatina for Piano (1941) - Presto
5. Conlon Nancarrow, Sonatina for Piano (1941) - Moderato
6. Conlon Nancarrow, Sonatina for Piano (1941) - Allegro
7. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 2)
8. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 14
9. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 18
10. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 19
11. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 3)
12. Conlon Nancarrow, Para Yoko (1990)
13. Conlon Nancarrow, Study no. 50 (1991)
14. Conlon Nancarrow, Study no. 51 ("3750") (1992)
15. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 4)
16. Conlon Nancarrow, Blues for Piano (1935)
17. Conlon Nancarrow, Tango?
18. Conlon Nancarrow, Piece for Tape (undated)
19. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 5)
20. Conlon Nancarrow, Two-part Studies for Piano I. Presto
21. Conlon Nancarrow, Two-part Studies for Piano II. Andantino
22. Conlon Nancarrow, Two-part Studies for Piano III. Allegro
23. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 6)
24. Conlon Nancarrow, Canons for Ursula I
25. Conlon Nancarrow, Canons for Ursula II
26. Conlon Nancarrow, Canons for Ursula III
27. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 7)
28. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 3b
29. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 3c
30. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 3d
31. Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian (excerpt 8)
32. Conlon Nancarrow, String Quartet no. 1 (1945) - 1 - Allegro Molto
33. Conlon Nancarrow, String Quartet no. 1 (1945) - 2 - Adante Moderato
34. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 9
35. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 6
36. Conlon Nancarrow, Study for Player Piano no. 4

No comments:

Post a Comment