Aleksander Szram - Into the 21st Century

2006; 10 tracks
Aleksander Szram, pianist

My mom was very kind and bought me a CD of modern classical piano music performed by a talented young pianist.

Comments by the composers:

01 Dai Fujikura - Echo Within (2003)

I find this piece very romantic, although it is imbued with a contrary atmosphere, more as though romanticism is experiencing claustrophobia; and I like that. It almost has the lyricism of Takeshi Kitano's film Hana-bi.

02 - 06 Basil Athanasiadis - Anamnisis (2003)

I composed Anamnisis (Greek for "memories") after reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (sidenote by allie: FUCKING YES!!). This title recalls the way in which the narrator of the novel embarks on his tale of twenty years past only after his memory is sparked by hearing a song on an aeroplane. I tried to convey the sense of memory in "Anamnisis" by using the opening 5-note melody as a recurrent yet ever-varying leitmotif in the rest of the piece.

07 Haris Kittos - Átropo (2001, rev. 2002)

"Átropo" means "with no mode/system." It was freely composed by ear and mainly on the piano. Of course there is a structure, a small development of the ideas and whatever I felt as being necessary to use for the production of an effective little piece...

08 Michael Spencer - The Eemis Stane - Hommage to Kakihosru Shapurji Sorabji (2001)

Helmut Lachenmann has referred to the notion of "sounds pointing away from themselves... towards the precondition of their production" (Lachenmann, Helmut, Seminar with Helmut Lachenmann - Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 2000).

Taking this as a starting point, "The Eemis Stane" begins with the sounds "pointing away from themselves" (the various extended performance techniques) and gradually develop towards the more familiar aural landscapes of the conclusion. On a poetic level, this concept related to the poem from which the title is taken: Hugh MacDiarmid presents the Earth of the future as an unfamiliar dead rock, covered by the lichen of time and the fog of history, yet underneath, the poet can sense the residue of mankind, the familiarity of something essentially human that is buried. The work is dedicated to Pete Mumford who commissioned it in 2001.

09 Dai Fujikura - Sleeping Ashes (2002)

"Sleeping Ashes" was written as a response to the Bali terrorist attack of the 12 October 2022. The episodes of tranquility are shattered by the sound of breaking glass.

10 Haris Kittos - Athrós (2001)

"Athrós" (from the Greek word árthrosis which means "articulation/joint") is someone/something whose purpose/function is to produce phrases/shapes/form/language and express him/itself. After a struggle which brings a state of chaos and mania, he/it finally relaxes, releases the tension and starts talking/singing, but exhaustion does not allow him/it to continue...


1 comment:

  1. Dai and Haris are both teachers at my college! I'm taking Haris' history course on the Avant-Garde right now, actually. Really nice guy, I'm curious to listen to this now! Thanks Allie.