Wu Review: The Live Music Report

The Live Music Report

Rudolph Komorous, WU for piano solo, Eve Egoyan, piano, Candareen Records.

“Wu” in Zen is ‘not’ the expected. The pleasure ofKomorous’ WU is the pleasure of the unexpected. Listening to a line of notes falling like water drops from a melting icicle, at irregular intervals, a note rising when you anticipate it will descend, a chord appearing in a line of single notes like a crow in a flight of sparrows. The pleasure of the unexpected.

Wu is a one movement composition made up of 31 segments divided by rests, the duration of each note and the tempo (variations on slow) of their succession is a collaboration between composer and pianist. The intelligence, taste and emotion of the collaborators merge and emerge in each moment and in each succession of moments-an engaging sequence of choices. The silent spaces leave room for humour and delight. What the music leaves out frames our pleasure. The space is peace. In that space colours arise.

Here, each note has the opportunity to utter the sound of its arrival, dwelling, and passing away. Their sequences, while sometimes hinting at melody, are less like song and more like conversation. This music is not built on cultural agreements intended to be shared by a collective. Everything about Wu is individual. Everything about it pushes you back into your own time. From this dot you can dissolve into the circle of the big picture. Oddly, this music, that at first listening might appear as non-sense, becomes a lovely discourse seemingly native to the understanding.

WU is a sensitive and elegant collaboration, deep in feeling, displayed with impeccable dignity. The recording produced and engineered by Christopher Butterfield is excellent.

Rudolph Komorous, reknowned internationally as a bassoonist and composer of new music, has served as Director of the School of Music at The University of Victoria, B.C., and as Director of School of Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser. Eve Egoyan is a concert pianist who specializes in the performance of new works. Another of her recent recordings, and a recent performance in Toronto were featured in The Live Music Report.

Stanley Fefferman for The Live Music Report, May 2, 2005