This month on Hammered! we invite three pianists to curate episodes focused on the diverse body of keyboard music generated by some of the twentieth and twenty-first century's most revolutionary musicians. Listen in 11 am and pm all this week for episodes hosted by the innovative Lisa Moore.
By Lisa Moore
I'm thrilled to be curating a week of American Maverick episodes for Q2 Music's Hammered!. My programs celebrate ‘maverick’ piano music - often with roots in song, ragtime, blues and jazz. Examples are sourced from historic live recordings, hot-off-the-press takes and composers’ private collections. There’s the straight-up 88 keys, player-pianos, prepared pianos, multiple pianos, a harpsichord, an accordion, organs and also marimbas. There’s detuned, well-tuned, and perhaps a little out of tune...(can’t blame us).
My Hammered! selections embrace the explosive imagination and rebellious streaking by composers (and their performers) who have broken away from the conventional crowd of could-bes. They are musical tinkerers who have taken what they want from traditional sources and ‘strayed’ from the pack to boldly go their own way - maxing out the boundaries of sound and form. Their open ears show influences from whatever grabs and obsesses them, whether sourced from the west, the east, jazz, pop, blues, electronica, natural sounds, machines, improvisation, mash-up, classical, minimal... or simply getting turned on by a new timbre. Their music has a can-do, driving, willful free spirit.
Daily from Monday to Thursday Hammered! explores a mix of 20th century examples - from early to late. There’s some Eubie Blake, Scott Joplin, Henry Cowell, George Gershwin, Charles Ives, Conlon Nancarrow, Ruth Crawford Seeger, John Cage, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Philip Glass, John Adams, Ingram Marshall, Martin Bresnick, William Albright, Jerome Kitzke, Julia Wolfe, Annie Gosfield, Don Byron and more.
On Friday March 23rd I wrap things up with the next new (somewhat younger) 21st century generation of voices - composer such as Daniel Wohl, Paul Kerekes, Hannah Lash and Missy Mazzoli. Alas, it was impossible to include all the beautiful and worthy examples in just 5 hours so my apologies to those not included (next time!).
However, I have collected a cross section of composers and virtuosi performers based on explorations, personal favorites and my upcoming American Maverick concert titled American Berserk, also happening on Friday March 23rd, 8pm at the Little Theatre, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Queens, NY as part of Carnegie Hall’s spring Neighborhood series. It’s free and I hope you can come.
I’ve had a blast preparing these shows and I look forward to your comments. Special thanks to Q2’s Conor Hanick and Alex Ambrose.