Loops, Ladders and Wind-Up Birds

Exploring Brooklyn-based composer Ryan Francis's box of musical toys

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Among diverse cast of characters informing Brooklyn-based composer Ryan Anthony Francis's musical language are author Haruki Murakami, artist M.C. Escher and poet Wilhelm Muller. Hear what they've told him this week at 11 am and pm on Hammered!.

You can hear Escher in the interlocking motivic infinities in Francis's Etude "Jacob's Ladder", Murakami's polished elegance in the Wind-Up Bird Preludes, and Muller's prophetic solemnity in Consolations.

This is to say nothing of the musical personalities sitting on his other shoulder, a lineup of composers beginning with Frederic Chopin and filing through Henri Dutilleux and Richard D. James of Aphex Twin. Each of these voices are considered, adapted and synthesized by Francis into an aggressively original musical language that uses nuance, precision and stylistic-variance to create music that is at once lush, probing and inventive.

Accompanying Hammered!'s week-long survey of his piano music are works that interact with Francis's language in especially intriguing ways. You'll hear songs by Franz Schubert, movements from Harrison Birtwistle's Harrison's Clocks, a recent work from Arlene Sierra and, to balance Francis's mammoth Moonlight Fantasy, a remarkable performance from pianist Sergei Babayan of Maurice Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit.

What other piano-composer portraits would you like to hear on Hammered! ?

Hosted by:

Conor Hanick
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