Sunday, June 5, 2011

Music For Words, Perhaps @ The Stone 5/26/11

I was still tired from the other night, but I could at least stop at The Stone on my way home for an hour of music.  I couldn't remember what was scheduled, but I knew I was more interested in the 2nd set than the 1st.  Still, I knew I wouldn't make it to the 2nd set.  I walk in and pay my $10 and get handed a program.  I then see what I was trying to remember - a duo with 1/2 of the members being a vocalist.  Oh well, I'm here, I paid, and Theo Bleckmann might be a vocalist I like.  I was also intrigued by hyperpiano and I like what I've seen from Innova Records so far.

It was a winner!  The vocals worked.  It was music set to W.B. Yeats poetry as sung by Theo.  "Hyperpiano" means playing the piano in the traditional way in addition to playing it while using creative techniques with the strings.  I am very impressed with Denman's techniques.  I?e seen hyperpiano now in many variations and his techniques were quite different and innovative.

He simply played the piano in the traditional way for some pieces. He had a heavy steel cylinder he sometimes put on the strings that made very interesting sounds when he rolled it around.  He also left it on the strings to play the keys at some points.  He had a copper rectangular block, about an inch  deep, and a little longer than a cassette and a little wider than a deck of cards. It had a couple of holes that made the sound even more interesting.  There was one point where he had this copper block on the strings and he was playing the keys and it sounded like a drum role.  Another time he had the copper thing in a different spot on the strings and played different keys and completely different sounds emerged.  When he added the copper bell to the strings, wide hollow side down, it was some awesome sounds.

There were also times where he used the rectangular copper thing to slide on the strings, similar to slide guitar.  I loved that most of all.

It was fantastic!

Denman Maroney and Theo Bleckman Theo Bleckmann (voice) Denman Maroney (hyperpiano) Theo and Denman will perform Denman’s song cycle of poems by W.B. Yeats called “Music for Words, Perhaps” and recently released on eponymous Innova CD 717. The cycle includes settings of “The Song of the Happy Shepherd,” “The Second Coming,” “The Crazed Moon,” “The Song of Wandering Aengus,” “A Drinking Song,” “A Drunken Man’s Praise of Sobriety,” “The Cap and Bells,” “Three Songs to the One Burden,” “The Two Trees,” and “The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner.”

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