Jed Distler's Final Week as Hammered! Pianist-in-Residence
Monday, October 25, 2010
I have a theory that the time-honored tradition of making piano transcriptions or paraphrases foreshadows today's mania for remixing, except that 88 keys are harder to maneuver than two turntables. In any event, on my hosted show on Monday, October 25 we've got wildly divergent examples, including Christopher O'Riley's unplugged Radiohead renditions, Yvar Mihkhashoff revamping Debussy, my own Assault on Pepper, Glenn Gould's edge-of-seat Ravel, and what Lutoslawski did to Paganini's A Minor Violin Caprice.
Here's a brief rundown of the rest of week, with washes of non-stop music specifically chosen for Hammered!:
Tuesday, October 26: Super Shorts
It¹s strange how my childhood obsession with long works (Wagner's Ring, Dylan's Desolation Row, 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall) gradually morphed into an obsession with little pieces, even if composers organize them into large groups, such as this hour's miniaturist masters Schoenfield, Schoenberg, Martinu, Rzewski and Gershwin.
Wednesday, October 27: Four Handed Fantasies
When I was eight, my parents took me to West Orange NJ's fanciest restaurant, the Westwood, where a two-piano team dished out popular favorites, hooking me forever. We start off with myself and my California piano brother Jerome Kuderna playing Alan Hovhaness, then music by John Adams, Paul Lansky, Lois V Vierk's extraordinary Spin 2, and finally Bill Evans interpreting Thelonious Monk via the magic of overdubbing.
Thursday, October 28: Chopin Revisited
Every composer/pianist must come to terms with Chopin, and now that his 200th birthday year is ending, we'll hear Chopin improvised upon, Chopin transcribed, Chopin rewritten for relaxation and massage, Chopin blatantly imitated, and pure, unadulterated Chopin.
Friday October 29: The Great Unknown
I close my Hammered! residency with substantial works by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Leo Orenstein, Ernst Krenek, Eric Moe and Vivian Fung that not only ought to be much better known than they are now, but also reveal more with further acquaintance. Then I take leave with a selection based on the last movement of Brahms' First Symphony, from my upcoming Meditate With The Masters release.