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Non Classical Showcase at LPR on 7/21

This coming Wednesday, Le Poisson Rouge is hosting a showcase for one of our favorite up and coming UK labels: Nonclassical.

The concert features the music of label founder Gabriel Prokofiev. Grandson of the great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, Gabriel is not only a mean turntablist; he provides a fascinating viewpoint on concert music with his “non classical” compositions. The Russian pianist GéNIA (great-great-grandniece of  legendary pianist Vladmir Horowitz) will present selections from his Piano Book No. 1, which she recently recorded for the imprint.

The Piano Book reflects Prokofiev’s uneasy relationship with classical music. His usual penchant is for blurring the distinctions between his work as a DJ with more formal compositions – his concerto for turntables and orchestra is a good example. But here Prokofiev, doubtless in no small part due to GéNIA’s encouragement, crafts an engaging series of postmodern Character-Stücke. A piece such as “Rockaby” is instructive. It begins with lullaby signatures, articulated with somewhat portentous harmonies. This gradually evolves into aggressive “rocking” music: punk rock for the piano. The coda returns to the earlier ambience; but after all the ruckus, good luck getting back to sleep!

Also on hand is Joby Burgess (aka Powerplant). He’ll perform an excerpt from Import/Export, Prokofiev’s newest Nonclassical release. A CD/DVD double disc, I/E is a suite for “global junk” percussion, ranging from soda bottles to oil drums. The instrumental palette recalls some of the junkyard percussion efforts of Lou Harrison and Harry Partch. But Prokofiev’s music, and Powerplant’s performances thereof, rock more heartily!

Concert details, as well as a couple of teaser videos, are below.

Non Classical Showcase
Wed., July 21, 2010 / 6:30 PM
Tickets: $10
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 505-FISH (3474)


Comment from Joseph Holbrooke
Time: July 18, 2010, 2:26 pm

Question for composers: When attempting to write solo percussion music do you study the great drummers first? It seems to me like most composers are writing percussion music without really understanding how far the field has been developed by the greats like Han Bennink, Elvin Jones, Milford Graves, etc.

Comment from Christian
Time: July 18, 2010, 2:35 pm

I think a combination of studying the greats, studying the literature, and communicating with your performers is necessary. I am work on a piece for Peter Jarvis now, and his assistance has been indispensable.