Clusters: American Piano Explorations

Composer(s): Johanna Beyer, Muhal Richard Abrams, Thomas Peterson, Kris Davis, James Tenney, Daniel Goode, David Mahler
Album Title: Clusters: American Piano Explorations 
Cat. No.: 80800
Genre: Classical / Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 09/2018
Description: Download Album (Lossless - $9.99)

Rory Cowal, piano

Rory Cowal is a distinctive pianist, one who draws liberally on classical chops, ample experience with improvisation, and a predilection for the new and uncharted. This makes him especially attractive to composers who wish to blur the boundaries between traditional styles and genres. A musical adventurer at heart, Cowal seems drawn to challenging and unusual projects. The eight pieces on this CD reflect this willingness to experiment, to not just play the same old (now canonic) warhorses of the American experimental tradition, but to expand our awareness of what that tradition might include over a large period of time, from Johanna Magdalena Beyer (1888 - 1944) to Kris Davis (b. 1980), with their adventurous colleagues Muhal Richard Abrams (1930 - 2017), Daniel Goode (b. 1936), David Mahler (b. 1944), Thomas Peterson (1931 - 2006), and James Tenney (1934 - 2006) somewhere in between. The pieces recorded here span from 1931, a time characterized by "ultramodernism" and the theoretical exploration of dissonant counterpoint, to 2018, and the vast influences bombarding young composers in the twenty-first century's oversaturation of digital resources. None of the pieces included here has been previously recorded. Working therefore with no point of reference but the score, Cowal had the special challenge of envisioning them, and bringing them to life based solely on his own understanding of their possibilities. 

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