Contemporary pianist Alex Peh explores the piano as a hybrid global instrument in a program of new work by Ne Myo Aung, Anna Clyne, Hafez Modirzadeh, Nikos Ordoulidis, and Susie Ibarra.
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Pianist Alex Peh explores parallel piano worlds that unsettle boundaries of genre, tradition, and style. Peh collaborates with ethnographic videographers, Lauren Meeker, Alyson Hummer, and Madelyn Colonna to create a multi-modal experience revealing the process of intercultural collaboration, and the intimate bonds between musicians as they attune to one another to create new compositions.
The evening includes four new world premieres. Composer Anna Clyne's new work Red Nines, is a collection of nine short movements in hybrid styles, composed as part of a “game music” series. Red Nines borrows its title from a simple card game played in south-west London during the 1950s. Ne Myo Aung’s work, Padetha, which translates to “mixed” in Burmese, deconstructs genre within Burmese Sandaya piano traditions, mixing popular, classical and folk idioms to create a virtuosic piano piece. Greek composer-performer Nikos Ordoulidis’ "Piece of Minds", questions identity, culture and traditional practice. Sounds from Ordoulidis’ experience communicate with one another through which a (real) musical place is created. Pooyan Azadeh’s, Ba Yadash, makes a North American premiere, paying homage to his teacher, the great Persian classical pianist, Javad Maroufi.
The evening will also feature new solo and duo arrangements of work by Hafez Modirzadeh and Susie Ibarra, who will perform with Peh on stage. Hafez Modirzadeh’s cycle of miniatures entitled “Facets” for re-tuned piano explores the work as a solo meditation. Susie Ibarra joins Peh in a duo performance of Talking Gong, a work originally for improvising piano trio, that explores the sonority of the Kulintang and piano in conversation.
Program (All Pieces Performed Solo by Peh):
This concert is dedicated to the memory of Dr. U Yee Nwe who passed away July 2020 in Yangon, Myanmar at age 78. Dr. U Yee Nwe is a master pianist and patala player (bamboo xylophone). He performed Burmese music on the western piano, a genre of music that the Burmese call Sandaya. He performed and taught the complete repertoire from the Mahagita - a compendium of Burmese royal classical songs dating back to the 16th century. His strict fidelity to his pedagogical and playing lineage influenced many generations of Burmese musicians.
This program is made possible by funding from Fulbright, Arts Mid-Hudson, New Music USA, SUNY New Paltz, Asian Cultural Council, and NYSCA.