Steve Barry - Hatch: Solo Piano

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Released March 2018.

It’s not hard to be daunted by the vast repertoire of music for solo piano. Propelled by my background in improvisation and jazz performance, my fascination with harmony and melody led me deeper into modernist classical music during my doctoral studies, across the gamut from Schoenberg to Ligeti, Boulez, Feldman, Cage, Stockhausen, Tristan Murail, Elliot Carter & Michael Finnissy, et al — a veritable baptism by fire. After a few initial years of research, it was oddly enough a five-week trip around India that catalysed the two-year consolidation of the insights gleaned from these masters with my existing practice as an improviser - the products of which are partly represented by this selection of original compositions for solo piano. Varying in construction from intricately notated to freely improvised, this collection reflects in various ways the milieu of influences that have occupied my ears for the past few years.

Microcosm and Codify short sketch-like platforms for improvisation inspired by the cellular melodies wide-ranging improvisations characteristic of the new school of experimental & free improvisers – the likes of pianists Matt Mitchell, Kris Davis and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Avian Bagatelle grew out of an extended period of listening to Ligeti’s Piano Etudes, while A Dance? owes at least some of its genesis to the work of Milton Babbitt. The pieces spawned by the latter — Tag! and Canon — divulge a love of counterpoint, marrying the linearity of Bach with free atonality of Hindemith’s harmonically wandering Ludus Tonalis.

Mice echoes Debussy’s early 20th century character pieces, with its quirky melody and bi-tonal tendencies. Roundabouts (one of the bonus tracks available online) echoes the rich, harmonically dense chord structures of Messiaen’s piano music, using 8-note units as a platform for improvisation.


SKU 822601400818
Barcode # 822601400818
Brand Rattle / New Zealand

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