reimagination, obsession

The time has come: our debut album "Reimagine" is finally here! We are proud to unveil Trailer #1:

Being immersed in the CD release process has prompted me to think about what drives Greg and me as performers and creators. The other day I was reading The New York Times and I came across this article on Keira Knightley. Something she was quoted as saying struck a chord with me:

“ 'Sorry,' she said. 'But if you’re going to be part of this business, I think you have to be a little bit like this. You have to be a bit obsessed.'”

In my opinion, her comment totally applies to a life in music (or in any of the arts) as well: if you're going to be a musician, you have to be a bit obsessed. Though I generally believe in balance and moderation, there is no denying that the creative process has this unique, ineluctable power to overcome, enthrall and consume me. And this always happens when Greg and I work together.

For instance, last night we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning finishing up the trailer video. As I took care of various CD release matters I couldn't stop glancing over at Greg's computer and laughing gleefully at the creation emerging before our eyes. While marveling at Greg's brilliant movie-making skills, I continuously offered my own two cents (which probably annoyed him!). And when we looked at the clock and noticed that it was the hour when most decent citizens of the world start their day, we were too wired to care; time really does fly when you're having fun!

So yes, we're obsessed with music and with bringing our artistic ideas to life, but really, we're just like two kids who are having such a great time playing that time and worries and limitations just fade into oblivion. EJR

P.S. Greg really does want to write to all of you, but since he's been busy with the videos and other pieces of business, I have been the resident blogger of late. We both hope you enjoy our new album—buy it now at CD Baby!

new year, new album

Happy New Year! We wish all of you a wonderful year ahead. 2008 has begun with lots of momentum; things are definitely in full swing. Greg and I each have a great deal on our plates, individually and collectively, but as always we welcome these challenges and opportunities with open arms.

Our main priority at this time is the launch of our debut album "Reimagine" -- the official release date is set for January 15, at which point the album will be available for purchase and/or download on CD Baby, Amazon, and iTunes. For an extensive preview of "Reimagine," check out our website: you'll find a Top 10 list, extended program notes, audio clips, and more. For the full 3-D experience, be sure to purchase a hard copy of the CD; in addition to having your hands on the deluxe, beautifully-designed packaging (featuring photos from our spontaneous adventure in the mountains last summer!), you'll also get a bonus DVD containing our infamous YouTube videos.

On a more personal note, we want to dedicate this album to you, our fans. Your energetic support uplifts us each and every day, and we resolve to keep surprising you in the new year!

Cheers to happiness, health and peace in 2008! -Liz

Jennifer's Question

Dear Greg & Liz,
I'm curious about your upcoming debut album! Why did you guys choose Reimagine as your album title? What is its significance and what messages would you like your album to convey? I'm really excited about the album and can't wait to hear more information about it! :)
- Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

We're really excited about the album too! We poured vast amounts of energy, time, expense, and love into the album and we are proud of the result.

The title, "Reimagine," was inevitable. We've reimagined virtually everything we do as a piano duo, and we wanted our album to convey our unique approach to classical music.

Most notably, we've reimagined the music we play: everything on the album is composed or arranged by us (other than our intense rendition of The Rite of Spring, which is itself a reimagining of the orchestral version). This reimagining of music occurs in a variety of ways. For example, consider our two versions of Danse macabre: the CD begins with our "Remix" of Danse macabre; it's a complete departure from the original and an entirely new work in our distinctive musical language, although it employs the familiar motives from Saint-Saëns's Danse macabre and Fossils. The CD concludes with a much more traditional approach to the piece; we honor the spirit of the original but recreate the music according to the strengths of our instrumentation.

Of course, we haven't just reimagined the music we play. We've reimagined the concept of four hands at one piano; we treat one piano/four-hands as not only something suited to domestic life, but as something with huge potential for the grand concert stage. We've reimagined our approach to the presentation of classical music (view our music videos for an example of this!). We've reimagined the nature of a piano duo relationship. Unlike most piano duos, our relationship is not defined by family or romance, but by friendship -- a friendship that shapes our collaborations as composers, performers, and creators -- a friendship that yields awesome adrenaline and joy. And finally, we reimagined our concept of a classical music album. We approached our album as independent producers (without the backing of a record label) so that we could retain complete artistic control over the album's content, design, and marketing. The album contains exciting repertoire that we love (and that we composed ourselves!), a bonus DVD featuring several of our YouTube videos, expansive and beautifully designed packaging, and short commentary written by us about our approach to music ("reimagine!"), about the nature of music listening, and about the beauty of collaboration. Heck, we've even prepared action-packed, movie-styled trailers to help publicize the album!

What is the significance of the album and what messages would we like it to convey? This album will defy your expectations on all levels; it is shocking, exciting, revolutionary, and sophisticated, and it will resonate with you in a personal and powerful way. What is the music about? It's about the human experience, it's about racing heartbeats and physical friction, it's about the passions that undulate beneath the restraint of daily life, about the timelessness of dreams, the manic states of being, the unrest of our current times...

The official release date is January 15, 2008. Subscribers to the mailing list will be able to purchase the CD earlier.

recording madness

Hello, readers—I'm back from my blogging break (which elapsed not out of neglect, just sheer busyness!). I hope you're all having a snazzy autumn thus far. I love the vibrant colors and melancholic mood of the fall season, but not the shortening of daylight!

Despite our separate commitments this fall (Greg with his doctoral courses/dissertation work/composing, me with my solo recitals/Ensemble ACJW concerts/teaching), Greg and I have been consistently and painstakingly working on our forthcoming album. Greg and I are going indie-style with this whole recording thing. It's great to have nearly complete autonomy over all elements of the production (the repertoire, editing, design, etc.), but it's also a time-consuming, creatively-challenging process. In any case, it's really fitting that Greg and I are going the independent route with our "debut" CD because we're free-spirited individualists at heart, and we've always been fully involved in all aspects of our professional output, whether it be the website, YouTube videos, programming, or compositions. This recording has given us the opportunity to take artistic chances, and we've had a lot of fun (well, stress-laced fun!) along the way: spending hours on end with our fabulous recording engineer Joe Patrych in his Bronx studio; writing about what this music means to us (while trying to stay within a word limit—a nightmare for me!); filtering through photo after photo of us atop a mountain; sharing design concepts; either being impressed, dismayed, or surprised at what we sound like on record!

The recording process is a highly collaborative one, and it is our hope that this album embodies the nexus of our ideas and ideals, our imaginings and efforts, our intensity and joy. EJR

Making the Recording (Part 1 of ?)

A quick update for the curious at heart:

The new Anderson & Roe Piano Duo CD has been recorded. "Phew!"

The recording session facts:
* 2 grueling 10-hour days of non-stop Anderson & Roe adrenalized performance
* 3 Steinway Concert D's (2 New Yorks and 1 Hamburg)
* 2 fantastic engineers - Joe Patrych and his entertaining sidekick, Misha
* 1 responsible and surprisingly helpful stagehand, Val Franco
* Thousands of $$$ (We're still in need of sponsors! Contact to help out.)

In it's completion, the CD release will be doused in everything Anderson & Roe - Anderson & Roe music and arrangements, Anderson & Roe adrenaline, Anderson & Roe-style photos and liner notes, and Anderson & Roe music videos. Join the mailing list to receive notification of its release later this fall!