I’ve started this blog as a means of quickly being able to articulate and share my thoughts about and experiences of performing experimental music. Over the years, mostly whilst I’m practising, a number of issues have cropped up pertaining to the works I’m learning and performing which don’t particularly lend themselves to extended discussion in an article or book chapter, but which I think are worth some reflection all the same.
It feels hopelessly presumptuous to assume that anyone might bother to read these reflections and quite possibly this is simply a useful forum for me to be able to articulate and track my own ideas and development as an interpreter. But if I do have some imaginary readers in mind, I guess they may be other performers, composers, students, or simply people who, like me, love and are fascinated by the rich and varied body of new and experimental music being created today. I hope, too, that these reflections might inform, just as they will doubtless be informed by, discussion of musical interpretation across a range of musical genres, types and periods.
A further note about this blog, or, rather, what this blog is not:
- this is not a blog about ‘how to play contemporary music’
- this is not a blog about new piano techniques (though occasionally these may surface)
- this is not a blog about new notations (though again notation is bound to be an issue which crops up repeatedly).
Mostly I suspect this blog will relate to music which I am learning, most likely leading to, or reflections after, a concert performance. I hope it is honest, true to my experiences, flawed, open to debate, and in some way captures something of the love I have for the music I play.
And finally, an explanation of the title: ‘For Pianist’ is a work for solo pianist by Christian Wolff, dated 1959. It is the most baffling piece I play; it is open, provocative, challenging, playful, generous, infuriating and exhilarating. It’s why I play music.