Filtering by Tag: speaking pianist

Red (2014)


Red (2014)
collaboration for Spoken Word Artist and Pianist
text by Warren Arcand & Michael Park
commissioned by Russell Wallace for Neo-Nativism vs. New Music

The collaboration really allowed me to explore my creative role as a composer-pianist in collaboration with a truly gifted performance artist. The text Warren sent me was an exploration of the word, and idea of, red, with a well positioned tangent version of "a man walked into a bar...".

In response, I thought about what red would be in terms of musical nomenclature. We have letter names for A-through-G, but what about the rest of the alphabet. I composed a companion text about the spelling of red and composed a framework for a 1940's pub style improvisation. 

How the texts and the music fit together was a function of the live performance, trusting the timing and intuition of both performance artists. I couldn't be happier with the resulting performance and hope that a recording will be available soon.

Compassion & Sacrifice (2012)

Compassion & Sacrifice (2012)

for Speaking Violist and Speaking Pianist

Premiered by Chantal Lemire, viola; and Michael Park, piano

Click here for a PDF of the Score.

Compassion & Sacrifice is many things to many people.

For the composer, it is a speaking duo for viola and piano. For the performers, it is the unique challenge of having to speak while playing their instruments. For arts lovers, it is a critique of how arts funding is portrayed in the right-wing media.

Compassion & Sacrifice is the latest creation from one of Vancouver's most vibrant collaborative teams: Michael Park and Ray Hsu.

In response to the jaw-dropping Sun News Media interview between Krista Erickson and iconic dancer, Margie Gillis, Michael and Ray discussed the interview at length, becoming obsessed with the ideas of media analysis, copyright, and fair dealing. Using those discussions as the basis, Ray sculpted a dialogue between musicians nested with quotations from the interview. By musicalizing that dialogue, Michael has ensured that it's not one you'll soon forget.

In his rather puckish way, Ray Hsu live tweeted from the world premiere that, "The concert ranged from the beautiful, the weird, and the feel good. I think mine was the weird one."

The original video that started it all is available online at the Sun News Network's website, original aired June 1, 2011. It features Krista Erickson interviewing iconic dancer, Margie Gillis.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/971454253001

Stories Men Tell (2011)

Stories Men Tell

(2011)

1. Veteran

2. How I Fell in Love

3. Three Little Pigs

for Speaking Pianist

An exploration into the art of storytelling.  Playing and speaking, the pianist recounts stories: of a war veteran, how a man met his wife, and a daughter’s favourite fairy tale.

The following recordings of movements 1 and 3 were performed by pianist, Christopher Morano.

Click here for a PDF of the Score.

Peter Meets Susanna (2009)

 

Peter Meets Susanna (2009)

for Speaking Pianist and Chamber Orchestra

 

Written for my Master’s thesis, this piece was my first formal composition for Speaking Pianist. Using Wallace Stevens’ Peter Quince at the Clavier, this 20-minute piano concerto presents the unique challenge of requiring the pianist to speak while playing complicated, idiomatic piano writing. The chamber Orchestra is scored for: 1 Fl, 2 Ob, 1 Cl, 2 Bsn, Tpt, Tbn, Percussion.

Premiered by the UWO Thesis Orchestra, conducted by Jim McKay, with pianist Alison Wiebe, and narrated by Michael Park.

Click here for a PDF of the score.

Parts available upon request.