Considerations for Listening
Everything old becomes new again. Reaping inspiration from all facets of life, Greg and I approach music via our personal perspectives and make it our own. As you listen, you make the music your own, and this is the glorious cycle of the musical experience.
How have we reimagined the music on this album? The kaleidoscopic Blue Danube Fantasy takes the elegance of the Viennese waltz as a point of departure and plunges headlong into the passions that undulate beneath the dance’s restrained façade. In The Cuckoo in Sussex, we transplant Daquin’s “Cuckoo” (dating from 1735) to a new environment of dreamy timelessness. In some pieces we stray altogether from our sources; for example, The Cat’s Fugue is an irreverent ditty loosely based on Scarlatti’s famous theme. In others we honor the spirit of the original but recreate the music according to the strengths of our instrumentation, as in The Swan, where we immerse Saint-Saëns’s melody in pianistic ripples of sound.
Does The Rite of Spring, written during the unrest preceding the First World War, resonate with you in our current times? Every time we play or listen to these pieces, their meaning is renewed. Music surpasses definition, so reimagine the music and discover what rings true to you.
Music is a collaborative effort. Even the lonely pianist centered on a concert stage finds himself collaborating with both the composer and his audience, connecting in magical and unexplainable ways with the humanity around him. As a duo, Liz and I collaborate as composers, performers, and creators, and of course, as friends. It’s an interaction that yields awesome adrenaline and joy.
Bruce Mau stated, “The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential,” and we couldn’t agree more. Can you hear the sexual conflict between the wise elders and the young sacrificial virgin in The Rite of Spring? What about the exhilaration of solidarity heard in Danse macabre and its remix? – the skeletons from all stations in life are now dancing together, unified by death. And speaking of dance, just think of the racing heartbeats, the physical friction, and the charged chemistry between a pair of dancers while you listen to the Blue Danube Waltzes or Libertango. Humanity lies in the space between people; we find it to be an overwhelming source of inspiration and energy.
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