The Poetry of Places (21st century version, 60-80 minutes)

Newly-written compositions by major American composers, inspired by diverse buildings: Louis Kahn’s National Assembly Buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh, American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in Manhattan, Aaron Copland’s House, Newgrange Ancient Temple in Ireland, House on Island in Pine Plains, Lowell House at Harvard, and Frank Gehry’s House.

  • With the setting sun backlighting the backdrop of the skyline of lower Manhattan, Shpachenko delivered a pleasing concert of music written about architecture… Shpachenko’s playing matched the verve of the writing, and she was in tune with the subtle but substantial sensitivity in the music… The music was full of unexpected passion and turmoil… There was terrific, thrusting energy… Through Shpachenko’s fluid performance the piece was easily heard as absolute music, an exploration of how rhythms, phrases, dynamics, and excellent counterpoint all work together to make invisible structures…

    George Grella, New York Classical Review
  • The sextet of accomplished composers worked with solitary houses on lakeside islands, an anomalous monolith in Dhaka, the world’s oldest extant building, the complex interior of Aaron Copland’s home, and a unique art museum. How these composers conceived these structures in sound, whether giving them literal measurements or spiritual ideas – that was the challenge of this music, nearly all of it dedicated to Ms. Shpachenko herself. They couldn’t have chosen a more apt executant… Ms. Shpachenko played not only these six very different concepts, but she added a toy piano and – in a beautiful croon – her own voice… The result was something magical, a vision which transcended building and, like any art, put us in the mood… truly original… mysterious and touching…

    Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com
  • We’re living in a time of great stylistic plurality, a time when certain older systems of composing have lost the sway they once enjoyed and new ones haven’t quite arisen to take their place. Shpachenko helped show that — there are definitely styles that she didn’t have room to feature, but no two of the works she played take the same approach to melody, harmony, and form… It was a fitting reminder that masterworks do come out of this bubble and strife, and a subtle affirmation that some things being written now may well be touchstones of the repertoire in another ninety years.

    Brin Solomon, New Classic LA

(please scroll down for full program information, sneak peak, images of the buildings, program notes, and more)

Program

Lewis Spratlan Bangladesh for solo piano (2015) …14 minutes

Amy Beth Kirsten h.o.p.e. for piano, toy piano, and voice (one performer) (2016) …6 minutes

Harold Meltzer In Full Sail for solo piano (2016) …8 minutes

Hannah Lash Give Me Your Songs for solo piano (2016) …7 minutes

Jack Van Zandt Sí an Bhrú for piano (with optional electronics) (2016) …12 minutes

James Matheson Alone, in Waters Shimmering and Dark for solo piano (2016) …8 minutes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When possible, the following 2 ensemble works can be performed
with pianist Joanne Pearce Martin, and percussionists Nick Terry and Cory Hills:

Nina C. Young Kolokol for two pianos and electronics (2010) …11 minutes

Andrew Norman Frank’s House for two pianists and two percussionists (2015) …10 minutes

Live Video Sample

Watch the 2 minute preview of
“The Poetry of Places” program

Lewis Spratlan (b. 1940)
Bangladesh for solo piano (2015)
(premiered on Oct. 27, 2015 at REDCAT/Disney Hall, Piano Spheres Series)

Inspired by architect Louis Kahn’s National Assembly Buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Amy Beth Kirsten (b. 1972)
h.o.p.e. for piano, toy piano, and voice (one performer) (2016)
(premiered on January 7, 2016 at the New Music Gathering in Baltimore)

Inspired by the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore and it’s current exhibit The Big Hope Show

Harold Meltzer (b. 1966)
In Full Sail for solo piano (2016)
(premiered on May 20, 2016 at Boston Court, Piano Spheres/Music @ BC Series)

Inspired by architect Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in Manhattan, NY

Hannah Lash (b. 1981)
Give Me Your Songs for solo piano (2016)
(premiered on May 20, 2016 at Boston Court, Piano Spheres/Music @ BC Series)

Inspired by the Aaron Copland House in Cortlandt, NY

Jack Van Zandt (b. 1954)
Sí an Bhrú for piano (with optional electronics) (2016)
(premiered on May 20, 2016 at Boston Court, Piano Spheres/Music @ BC Series)

Inspired by Newgrange, a 5,000 year old Ancient Temple in Ireland constructed during the Neolithic period, around 3,200 BCE

James Matheson (b. 1970)
Alone, in Waters Shimmering and Dark for solo piano (2016)
(premiered on June 24, 2016 at Bargemusic in New York, Here and Now Series)

Inspired by the House on Island in Pine Plains, NY

Nina C. Young (b. 1984)
Kolokol for two pianos and electronics (2010)

Inspired by Harvard University’s Lowell House and it’s Russian bells

Andrew Norman (b. 1979)
Frank’s House for two pianists and two percussionists (2015)

Inspired by the Frank Gehry House in Santa Monica, CA

This program is performed in two versions: the 21st century program above, or the mixed periods program featuring 19th, 20th, and 21st century compositions inspired by architecture.

Click here for mixed periods program

Click here for program notes and composer bios