Listen with Adventurous Ears
March 2010 • Kate Mead, New Zealand House & Garden
Atoll ACD 309 • Tzenka Dianova, piano, prepared piano, celesta
“Listen with adventurous ears.”
On this recording John Cage’s The Perilous Night sounds as if the piano is accompanied by skin and metal percussion instruments, but it’s not. Tzenka Dianova placed objects under, over and through the strings of her Steinway Model D so that certain keys, when depressed, sound akin to a Javanese gamelan orchestra. That’s what the American composer originally wanted. As a personal response, Dianova and her musical partner, Charlotte Rose, then deconstruct Cage’s original, using the piano in its original state and supplementing electronics. Frenchman Erik Satie is the other composer on Dianova’s debut album. His lush Gnossienne No 4 is glorious. Listen with adventurous ears.