21C Cinq à Sept

21C Music Festival
Cinq à Sept: Eve Egoyan
Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 5:00pm

Eve Egoyan, piano


Eve Egoyan: Seven Studies for Augmented Piano (all world premieres)

“During these past months, without the possibility for live performances or the need for performance-related travel, I have looked inwards and created this program.

I am known primarily as an interpreter of new works, often working in close collaboration with the composers whose pieces I play. In order to create for myself, I have had to deconstruct the piano and the notation normally used to write for it. These shifts have been a way for me to break from the past, from the music I have heard, and from the way that music (written by others) looks on the page and how it inhabits my body.

Tonight, I am performing on a Yamaha Disklavier – an acoustic piano with a computer interface. Coupling this instrument with software that models the behaviour of a physical piano, I am able to shadow the acoustic piano with a virtual piano that allows me to augment and extend the sonic range of the piano in ways I have long dreamt of, but have never before been able to achieve.

I thank the Canada Council for the Arts for providing me with the extraordinary opportunity to explore this dream and to compose these pieces, and for supporting the development of the technology that has made them possible. I would also like to thank the following for supporting this work: Yamaha, University of Toronto, Avatar, The Royal Conservatory, and CMMAS.” – Eve Egoyan

Seven Studies for Augmented Piano

1. “Expansion”
This piece opens with fluid movements across the piano’s expansive range. On the page itself, I am using my new notation system to its fullest. Near the end of the piece, a singing legato line is revealed, mimicking first a single string instrument, then a drone, then an ensemble. The end brings together the acoustic and virtual pianos.

2. Études for Augmented Piano (film)
Études for Augmented Piano takes viewers inside Eve Egoyan’s world as she creates a new composition for augmented piano. Snapshot-like moments, journal entries, and visual explorations playfully reveal the secrets of how the elusive sounds in her compositions are produced. Combined with fragments from an enigmatic solo performance, the film affirms the necessity of the listener and the audience to the artist’s creative process, even when physical isolation prevails. – Su Rynard

Director: Su Rynard; Cinematography: John Price; Sound Recording: Dennis Patterson; Editor: Caroline Christie

3. “A Doubling”
Novelist and poet Anne Michaels’s text is the backbone of this composition. We hear Anne’s voice and the voices of the collaborative multidisciplinary collective URGE (singer/teacher/writer Fides Krucker, vocalist/yoga instructor Katherine Duncanson, dancer/choreographer/director Marie-Josée Chartier, director Joanna McIntyre, and composer Linda Catlin Smith. I myself was a member for one of URGE’s works). My personal connections to Anne and URGE deepen my response to their voices. We are gathered within the piano during this pandemic – a time when we cannot gather freely, especially to sing. I am very grateful to have been able to use their voices for creative exploration.
The lines spoken in “A Doubling” are from Infinite Gradation, with permission from Anne Michaels and Exile Editions (http://www.exileeditions.com/)

4. “Overtones”
In this piece, I revel in the piano’s rich harmonies and reveal the harmonic overtones that we cannot always hear but are always present.

5. “Shimmer”
I wanted to create a piece where trills trail from my fingers as if a wake on the surface of water. It is physically impossible to play as many quiet trills as I seem liquidly able to do in this piece.

6. “Tidal”
I was born and raised near the ocean in Victoria, B.C. I love to be near, inside, and on top of the ocean. In this piece, I sought to recreate some of these sensations.

7. “Moonlit”
I have spent the past few summers in Killarney Park with my family. I am entranced by the stillness of lakes. I have a hard time sleeping when there, heightened by the magical, otherworldly stillness of clear moonlit nights.

8. “Crescendo on a Note”
Once a piano note is struck, there is nothing a pianist can do other than listen to the decay as the resonance quietens. On a piano, you can build on top of the note’s decay – which is compelling and exquisite – but you cannot get louder (“crescendo”). This piece transcends that limitation.
– Program note by Eve Egoyan

Eve Egoyan made her Royal Conservatory debut on May 23, 2014, during the inaugural 21C Music Festival.

Eve Egoyan extends her thanks to:

The Canada Council for the Arts
Mervon Mehta, Max Rubino, Heather Kelly, and the 21C Music Festival and Koerner Hall staff
Yamaha Canada Music (Aya Sato)
University of Toronto Faculty of Music (Eliot Britton, Gregory Newsome, Don McLean, Robin Elliott)
CMMAS (Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras CMMAS) (Rodrigo Sigal)
Avatar and Patrice Coulombe
PianoTeq (Niclas Fogwall)
David Rokeby
Joanna McIntyre
Vicky Husband
Steve Koerner
Dennis Patterson
Su Rynard
Caroline Christie
John Price
Brendan Schnurr
John Mark Sherlock
Phil Strong
Annie Moore
Linda Catlin Smith
Anne Michaels
Fides Krucker
Marie-Josée Chartier
Katherine Duncanson
Rick Sacks and Arraymusic

About URGE

URGE is a collaborative multidisciplinary collective that created music-driven theatrical works from 1991 to 2006. The core of URGE is five artists – singer/teacher/writer Fides Krucker (www.fideskrucker.com), vocalist/yoga instructor Katherine Duncanson (www.kyogavoice.com), dancer/choreographer/director Marie-Josée Chartier (www.chartierdanse.com), director Joanna McIntyre, and composer Linda Catlin Smith (www.catlinsmith.com) – interested in exploring collaborative creation, particularly in the area of multidisciplinary performance, where music, spoken text, song and extended voice, movement and staging are equal partners in expression.

Each member of URGE brought with her a mature art form, sophisticated craft, and personal history, as well as what was most current in her life – tools for shared training during the development of each new work. Fresh and surprising impulses—from the repetition of a daily chore or the unusual use of everyday and sacred objects to the darker tones of life-chafing and -changing events, or the unfolding landscape of a night’s dream—became elements for improvisation in rehearsal. Importantly, URGE built improvised “play” into the fabric of each public performance, ensuring an ever-changing, evolving landscape of sound and image.”