A fixture in New York's new-music scene, often as a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, pianist Vicky Chow has worked with a formidable and varied roster of composers and performers, from John Adams and Terry Riley to Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo. Her active schedule continues in April with the New York premiere of John Luther Adams's expansive Four Thousand Holes at Le Poisson Rouge and as part of the 2013 MATA Festival's Mechanical Turks at Roulette.
Pianist Vicky Chow writes:
"When I was young
I'd listen to the radio
Waitin' for my favorite songs
When they played I'd sing along
It made me smile."
-The Carpenters, Yesterday Once More
I love mixtapes. I made them throughout the '90s. First I recorded my favorite songs when they played on the radio with my dad's cassette tape recorder. Later when a computer and the internet were around, I burned CD mixes for my friends and for parties. I decorated them with sparkle and nail polish and stickers and tried to make cool-looking fonts and designs with my magic markers. During my senior year of high school when I was communications officer on the student council, I made short 15 minute mixtapes every day to play over the intercom throughout the entire school during the recess announcements.
When I was at the Manhattan School of Music Contemporary Performance Program, we decided one year to make Secret Santa mixtapes for one another. Everyone somehow just KNEW who made theirs. I made mine for Jeff Gavett (of emkeles) and I received one from Alejandro Acierto (of Chicago's Dal Niente Ensemble).
Recently, I started performing short contemporary piano pieces in a collection to imitate the experience of the old school mixtape, but instead with a live performer.
The selection I've made are pairings of pieces featuring the piano. Each of the pairings emphasize a certain aspect of music (color, rhythm and texture) either through the use of electronics, texture, multiplicities and layerings, and/or all/none of them.
I hope you enjoy the auditory meal.
Terry Riley - Keyboard Study No.1
Nik Bartsch - Modul TM & Modul 5
Donnacha Dennehy - Reservoir
Florent Ghys - Coma Carus
Thomas Adès - Darknesse Visible
Chris Cerrone - Hoyt-Schermerhorn
Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Moon