Clusters: American Piano Explorations

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.

* * *

"Exciting... Mr. Cowal really is serious about surveying lesser known corners of the repertoire" —The New York Times

Rory Cowal

Clusters: American Piano Explorations

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Clusters: Cluster Motive
Johanna Beyer
Buy
Clusters: Clusters I
Johanna Beyer
Buy
Clusters: Clusters II
Johanna Beyer
Buy
Clusters: Clusters III
Johanna Beyer
Buy
Clusters: Clusters IV
Johanna Beyer
Buy
Clusters: Cluster Motive [reprise]
Johanna Beyer
Buy
Etudes Op. 1, No. 1
Muhal Richard Abrams
Buy
Reflection
Thomas Peterson
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox: I. Raphiolepis
Kris Davis
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox: II. Pieris
Kris Davis
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox: III. Photinia
Kris Davis
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox: IV. Vitex
Kris Davis
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox: V. Abelia
Kris Davis
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox : VI. Calluna
Kris Davis
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox: VII. Nerium
Kris Davis
Buy
Eight Pieces for the Vernal Equinox: VIII. Choisya
Kris Davis
Buy
Variations in A (on a theme by my father)
James Tenney
Buy
Piano Sonata No. 1
Daniel Goode
Buy
Martin Bartlett at the Claremont Hotel: I. Entrance
David Mahler
Buy
Martin Bartlett at the Claremont Hotel: II. Ghost Soliloquy
David Mahler
Buy
Martin Bartlett at the Claremont Hotel: III. Be Still
David Mahler
Buy
Martin Bartlett at the Claremont Hotel: IV. Anthem, Flourish
David Mahler
Buy
Martin Bartlett at the Claremont Hotel: V. Beloved
David Mahler
Buy
Martin Bartlett at the Claremont Hotel: VI. Exit (to the bells of Vancouver)
David Mahler
Buy
a song that will linger
David Mahler
Buy