Fans may be familiar with the concept of the remix in the electronic music realm – where one artist reimagines a song in their vision based on the foundation set previously by the original artist – but the art of the remix has long existed in the classical world as well. New York City pianist Bruce Brubaker has dedicated his career to this concept, an artist who has not only mastered the art of replaying compositions, but also adding his own personality to these pieces, reimagining them in such a way that they assume a new and unique form, based on and developed from the original.
Bruce Brubaker’s forte is understanding and reinterpreting the music of Philip Glass. He has cultivated an intense relationship with Glass’ compositions, encouraged by American critic and record producer Tim Page who first introduced Brubaker to the music of Glass. Since that time, which has spanned over 20 years, Brubaker & Glass have met on many occasions to discuss the reworks, instilling a deep understanding for Brubaker of Glass’ innermost intentions and idiosyncrasies.
As Brubaker states, “Remix culture, post-production art is the art of now. Artists today are making pathways through what came before. More and more I see what I do in this way. I’m starting from notes written on paper by Philip. But music is a group activity, and a transaction. This music only exists as it does because it was written, then made into sound by me, and heard by listeners. The people hearing it complete the art.“
On Phillip Glass: “The first time I played “Mad Rush” for him — just as I was about to play the first notes — he said, “Let’s see what you have to say in this piece.“
What Brubaker creates during the recordings and when he plays the music of Glass, he is summoning the spirit of the original compositions and translating them into a new, unique form; a new language that communicates a similar feeling & mode but is represented in a brand new context.
“I’m not playing different notes than those in the written music. However, the exact rhythms and phrase organization, weighting of chords, use of the piano’s sustaining pedal — these elements all vary. The moment-by-moment process is not willful ideally. Of course, there’s planning and practicing. But as the music is being made, I’m trying to listen as an outside listener, an observer. I respond to the sounds I’m hearing but I don’t consciously make things happen.”
Glass Piano by Bruce Brubaker will be released on InFiné on June 01, 2015.
All the original solo pieces have their original names. The pieces that are arrangements from opera are a bit different. The piece we call “Evening Song” is sometimes referred to as “Satyagraha, Act 3, conclusion.”
TRACK LISTING (CD)
1. Mad Rush 2. Metamorphosis 1 3. Metamorphosis 2 4. Metamorphosis 35. Metamorphosis 4 6. Metamorphosis 5 7. Knee Play 8. Wichita 9. Opening (vinyl only) 10. Evening Song (vinyl only)
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