Download: Anna Thorvaldsdottir's 'Scape' Performed by Pianist Cory Smythe

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Prepared piano Prepared piano (Misty Granade/Flickr)

This week’s Meet the Composer Bonus Track is a world premiere recording of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s piano work ScapeScape, like many of Anna’s works, uses extended techniques to create unique, otherworldly textures. For this piece, Anna demands quite a bit of playing INSIDE the instrument, as well as a few somewhat unconventional preparations to the instrument itself.

Prepared piano basically means a piano with stuff in it, screws, thimbles, tin foil, pieces of paper, the type of thing that’ll make a piano technician start to sweat. The first couple people to do this type of thing were crazy Americans, Henry Cowell and John Cage. Definitely take a moment to check those guys out, if you have a sec.

Anna, very much in keeping with her timbral language, uses these techniques to carve out massive swaths of sonic texture, creating a huge universe in a relatively limited time frame.

A couple weeks ago, Cory Smythe, pianist for the International Contemporary Ensemble, stopped by the Q2 Music studios to create the beautiful world premiere recording. –Nadia Sirota

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Produced by:

Curtis Macdonald and Alexander Overington

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