The Raw And The Cooked
Week Four: Pianist, pedagogue and new-music guru Bruce Brubaker takes the curatorial reins for June
Monday, June 27, 2011
Few pianists have proven themselves to be more programmatically inventive and musically provocative than this month's Hammered! pianist-in-residence, Bruce Brubaker. Open your ears all June for a month's worth of programs specially curated for Q2 by one of today's most intriguing contemporary artists.
In each of Brubaker's four week-long programs, the distinguished concert pianist, New England Conservatory faculty member and new-music Jedi examines a series of endlessly fascinating themes and offers 1,200 minutes of music that is almost entirely new to Q2.
Each week will include a hosted Monday show and program note from Brubaker, and we'll also offer exclusive music videos recorded live by Brubaker of works by Philip Glass and John Cage.
Tune in all month for what promises to be an illuminating, sometimes quirky and altogether fascinating dive into the curatorial mind of Bruce Brubaker.
Week Four: "The Raw And The Cooked" | by Bruce Brubaker
With apologies to Claude Lévi-Stauss, this week on Hammered!, “The Raw and the Cooked.” How do materials get made into art? How do scales, chords, and tremolos turn into compelling music? What happens when delicious ingredients are baked, stirred, or julienned?
And when we’re cooking up some art, how do we know when it’s done? Sometimes achieving art requires high-level technique. And sometimes too much obvious refinement seems to get in the way of something more real.
Those mysterious foams and sous-vide dishes from the molecular gastronomy chefs can be wondrous, or just too precious. What’s the exact transition point between raw and ready?
We use many forms of technology to do our work. The piano’s a remarkable machine, an artifact of Industrial Revolution high technology. Sometimes we try to adapt our bodies or minds to what machines can do. But at least so far, machines are made by humans, and our artistic interactions with machines often end up disclosing what humanity really is.
On Hammered!, in our tasting of “The Raw and the Cooked,” there will be music by Sylvano Bussotti that’s written graphically, with pictures rather than notes, and played inside the piano, and all over the outside of the piano too. We hear György Ligeti’s testing of the human player’s limits, and Alvin Curran deconstructing and reconstructing something very familiar.