R. Andrew Lee, piano - a recital of minimal music
- Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm
- Howard Hall - view map
Pianist R. Andrew Lee is one of the foremost interpreters of minimal music. He has been described as having “consistently impressive solo releases” (New York Times), and his CD, Eva-Maria Houben: Piano Music, was chosen by Alex Ross in The New Yorker as one of the Top 10 Classical Recordings of 2013. In his tenure with the Irritable Hedgehog label, he has recorded eight albums, including the premiere recording of Dennis Johnson’s 5-hour minimalist epic, November, which was selected byTime Out New York as the best classical recording of 2013.
Lee has dedicated himself to the performance and recording of new music. He has premiered or released the premiere recording of compositions by many composers whose work lie on the boundaries of minimal music. Current projects include a 3+ hour commission for piano and live electronics from Randy Gibson and a disc of music by Paul A. Epstein, whose music lies at the intersection of total serialism and minimalism.
Lee has performed in a number of venues dedicated to experimental music around the world, including the STUK Arts Centre (Leuven, Belgium), Café OTO (London), ISSUE Project Room (New York) and Gallery345 (Toronto). He has also been invited to speak and perform at music departments known for their exploration of the avant-garde such as the University of Huddersfield and the California Institute of the Arts.
The intersection of minimal music and temporality is a primary research interest for Lee. As such, he has presented papers and lecture-recitals at several international conferences, most recently the Fourth International Conference on Minimalist Music (California State University, Long Beach) and Time's Excesses and Eccentricities in Music, Literature and Art (Université de Caen Basse-Normandie). His writing has been published by Divergence Press.
Lee currently teaches at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and was most recently Artist-in-Residence at Avila University. Lee received his DMA in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the direction of Prof. John McIntyre. He has also earned a masters in piano performance from UMKC and a bachelors in piano performance from Truman State University, where he studied under Dr. David McKamie.
The program will include works by Alvin Curran, Jay Batzner and Galen Brown.
Alvin Curran's Inner Cities consists of fourteen separate pieces varying in length from three minutes to over fifty. As he writes about the compositions, "My goal, as always, was to reduce the musical elements to their ultimate essences, to repudiate and embrace dualism, and to emulate, even in permanent notation, the feel of spontaneous music-making." Beginning simply, number eight explores simple triads slowly and expansively but is also prone to jarring dissonance and virtuosic passages. Nothing seems off limits, and yet nothing seems out of place.
Jay Batzner writes of as if to each other...,"I sat down at the piano, struck the first arpeggio, and went from there. The single note descending line was taken from a previously unused sketch and the chorale was added because the piece needed it. All of the electronics were generated through manipulations of the piano material, creating a sort of audio kaleidoscope which bends and warps what was previously heard. I composed the piece for absolutely no practical reason." Like the Curran, there is a beautiful sense of improvisation with this work; it is a journey without a clear destination that never loses its way.
God is a Killer was inspired by the hellfire preaching of A. A. Allen. Taken from the 1965 LP of the same name, the backing track auto-tunes the words of Allen, which the driving force of the piano accompanies. The end result is at once a shocking and compelling, and Brown is to be commended for handling this material so well.
$10 General, $5 Student