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NZSM Present the Bowed Piano Ensemble


Wed 18 May 2011, 7:30pm–9:30pm

Where: NZ School of Music - Massey University, Massey University, Wallace Street, Mt Cook, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $15.00
  • Student / Senior: $5.00
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale

Te Kōkī, New Zealand School of Music present the remarkable Bowed Piano Ensemble: and 'orchestra' of 10 players performing on one grand piano!

The Bowed Piano Ensemble, founded by Stephen Scott at Colorado College in 1977, has evolved into a small orchestra whose ten players conjure, from one open grand piano, long, singing lines, sustained drones, chugging accordion-like figures, crisp staccato tones reminiscent of clarinets, deep drum tones and more, often simultaneously, to create a rich, contrapuntal new-chamber-music tapestry. For a taste of what they do, check out some of the many YouTube clips available:

In this concert for NZSM the works performed include:
'New York Drones' (2006): dedicated to the great American composer Steve Reich in honor of his seventieth birthday
'Azul' (Blue) from Paisajes Audibles/Sounding Landscapes (2002)
'Barcarola' from The Deep Spaces (2004-05) Poetry by William Wordsworth
'Vikings of the Sunrise Part One' (1995): a concert-length fantasy on themes of navigation, exploration and discovery in the Pacific from ancient times until the present era.

The Bowed Piano Ensemble has made eight European tours and two to Australia. They have performed at world-renowned venues like the Sydney Opera House, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the medieval Town Hall in Tallinn, Estonia and Jameos del Agua, a volcanic lava-tube-become-concert-hall in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Their five recordings (two with soprano Victoria Hansen) are on the New Albion and Albany labels.

“Few composers achieve true originality in their palette. Occasionally a composer comes along who finds his territory and explores every nook and cranny within it, luxuriating in its richness. Stephen Scott's brilliant forays into the interior of the piano must be included with the prepared piano work of John Cage (and) the player piano machinations of Conlon Nancarrow as examples of startlingly unique artistic vision. The instrument speaks in a new but strangely familiar voice, as harps, mandolins and orchestral strings seem to emerge. Scott has found his own orchestra in there.”
Ingram Marshall

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