PIANOPIECES: A Concert/Exhibition @ The Abacus

7 Composers. 8 Artists. 22 Performers. 3 Pianos. 350+ People. 1 Gallery.

These make for quite an evening.

PIANOPIECES was a concert/exhibition that aimed to highlight avant-garde approaches to playing and writing for the piano.

The concert element consisted of a programme of 20th/21st Century works for piano including 7 commissions. They were played on two pianos in alternating rooms throughout the night. The programme ended with a performance of Philip Corner’s Piano Activities which called for four performers to destroy a piano with a selection of tools. The performance was a collaboration between myself and Mr & Mrs Clark Ltd/Bosch. A 3rd piano was then unveiled in the Abacus Vault to allow the public to perform Piano Activities themselves.

The piano programme was followed by a performance from post-tonal improvisatory group, Oblique3. Their set included a premiere of my new work BringTheNoise written for the group, a free improvisation and concluded with the UK premiere of Ralph Steadman’s BLOT Symphony.

The exhibition element of the event consisted of the hanging of the 1st and last pages of the commissioned piano works plus art works which were direct responses to these scores, using the scores as actual canvasses, which acted as companion pieces to these piano works.

Here is a copy of the final programme:

Piano Pieces

7:30pm

X for Henry Flynt (1960) – La Monte Young (Daniel-Wyn Jones)

L’enfance de Ko-quo (1913) – Erik Satie (Phoebe Greenland)

Stillness (2014) – Carol J Jones (Chau Tan)

La Cathedrale Engloutie (1910) – Claude Debussy (Sock Yin)

8:00pm

The Tides of Manaunaun (1917) & Aeolian Harp (1923)

– Henry Cowell (Andy Wareham)

Monologue (2014) – Nathan Harrison (Kar Mun)

La Colombe (1929) – Olivier Messiaen (Guy Shotton)

Worlds Apart (2011) – Martin Humphries (Matthew Poad)

The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs (1942)

& Nowth Upon Nacht (1984) – John Cage (Rosey Brown & Daniel-Wyn Jones)

8:30pm

Paths (2014) – Andrew Taylor (Andrew Taylor)

Vertical Thoughts No. 4 (1963) – Morton Feldman (Mark Smith)

With Thanks to... (2014) – Ethan Davies (Ethan Davies)

Metamorphosis No. 3 (1988) – Philip Glass (Emma Payne)

9:00pm

Selected Jatekok’s (1973-2010) – Gyorgy Kurtag (Matthew Poad)

Clockwork Devils (2014) – Richard McReynolds (Mark Smith)

Eirenicons (1973-85) – Howard Skempton (Phoebe Greenland)

9:30pm

Five Miniatures (Movements 1-4) (2006) – Robert Fokkens (James Clark & Guy Shotton)

Capel Celyn (2014) – Daniel-Wyn Jones (Piano – Guy Shotton & Performers – Andrew Taylor, Daniel-Wyn Jones, Ethan Davies & Martin Humphries)

Piano Activities (1962) – Philip Corner (Daniel-Wyn Jones, Guy Shotton, Henry Lascelles and Steven George Jones of Mr & Mrs Clark/Bosch)

Oblique3

10:30pm

BringTheNoise – Daniel-Wyn Jones

Free Improvisation – Oblique3

BLOT Symphony – Ralph Steadman

Many thanks to all the performers:

Andy Wareham, Chau Tan, Emma Payne, Guy Shotton, James Clark, Kar Mun, Mark Smith, Matthew Poad, Phoebe Greenland, Sock Yin, Rosey Brown, Mr & Mrs Clark and Oblique3

Artists:

Aidan Myers – aidanmyers.co.uk

Andrew Taylor – andrewtaylorcomposer.wordpress.com

Carol J Jones – caroljdjones@hotmail.co.uk

Charlie Spearing – charliejadespearing@gmail.com

Daniel-Wyn Jones – daniel-wyn.co.uk

Elaine Begley - elainebegley.tumblr.com

Ellie Young – ellieyoungart.com

Ethan Davies – ethanjdavies@hotmail.com

Heloise Godfrey – heloisegodfrey-talbot.com

Henry Lascelles – henrylascelles.com

Martin Humphries – martin-humphries.co.uk

Nathan Harrison – nathanstephenharrison@outlook.com­

Ralph Steadman – ralphsteadman.com

Richard McReynolds – richard.mcreynolds@gmail.com

The Dead Hand – thesedeadhandsofmine.tumblr.com

Many thanks to:

Connor Waters, Hefin Tomos, Josh Alan Micheux-Trask, Sadie Williams, Sam Smith, Promo-Cymru, The Abacus team and anyone else I may have forgotten.

The event worked on a pay what you like basis with rewards for paying more. If attendees paid £0.50 or more they received a programme and if they paid £2.00 or more they received a programme and a piano key by the end of the evening.

Some comments about the evening from social media outlets:

@joy_collective - "Massive respect to @DWJmusic and @theabacusrooms for last night's piano-and-more gig. Insanely beautiful and energising"

@pixieglas - "We had a smashing time @DWJmusic #Abacus PIANOPIECES last night. Gig of the year!"

Gareth Clark (audience member) - "Thank you for a great night."

Many thanks to all that attended.

More photos and video footage to follow shortly.

DW

Piano Pieces Poster.jpg