This project has been a long time coming. I am finally releasing my new recording of Frederic Rzewski's 'De Profundis' and 'Marriage'. It has been an incredible journey and I am so excited to share the works in this audio format. I released the video versions of the work last November, direct to YouTube as free content. For this audio release, rather than a CD, I am doing a limited edition vinyl release, as well as digital distribution.
I began conceiving of this project back in 2008 with my doctoral lecture-recital, entitled "Acting Like a Pianist". The focal point of the program was Rzewski's 'De Profundis'. In the years since, I have worked to develop my performance of music for theatrical/speaking pianist and with grants from New Music USA and the University of Kansas, I was able to record "Acting Like a Pianist, Volume 1" with video production by SALT Arts Documentation and audio production from the award-winning Meyer-Media. Following this release, I intend to pursue 3 more volumes, featuring major existing work for theatrical/speaking pianist as well as several new works written for the project.
I am looking for support up to $5,000 to help with the final costs related to the vinyl production and distribution. 500 double vinyl LPs will be produced, having been beautifully mastered by Andreas Meyer. I have decided to release on vinyl because of my own listening habits and my feeling that the medium better suits these particular works. In 2019, music is primarily listened to as either digital media or by audiophile-types on vinyl. I believe these long-form works of art are more conducive to the thoughtful act of placing a record on a turntable and sitting down to actively listen, and I hope fans of Rzewski and contemporary music will feel the same.
PERKS • The first 25 people to donate $100 will receive a free copy of the LP. • Anyone donating in excess of $500 will receive a free copy of the LP. --- please include your address in the note for LP shipping
For me personally, this project has been a labor of love for two works that have deeply poignant messages. 'Marriage' is a truly dark and desperate tale, inspired by Leo Tolstoy's novella "The Kreutzer Sonata". In my own thinking and portrayal, the work conjures an image of the worst of mankind. The protagonist is a narcissistic, psychopathic man describing how and why he killed his wife. The rage, jealousies, and hate depicted are cast alongside ominous and dark piano writing, creating the musical equivalent of a psychological thriller. The work, by exploring this darkness, has the ability to affect listeners in powerful ways, and is a tour-de-force in its theatricality. This recording constitutes the premiere recording of 'Marriage', which was composed in 2003. 'De Profundis' is based on the prison letters of Oscar Wilde, and incorporates excerpts from Wilde's text with the virtuosic pianist and theatrical writing of Rzewski. The explores the horrors of imprisonment, the loss of spirituality, fits of madness, and eventual spiritual rebirth felt by Wilde. It is a powerful and moving work that is sadly just as relevant today as it was when Rzewski composed it in 1992.
Your support of the project and of my work is greatly appreciated and will allow me to continue working on funding the starts of future projects. Thank you very much!