“It’s not like saying good bye and starting something new. What we do is called contemporary classical, and it’s just that; classical music, but being composed now.” – Joseph Ferretti
General ($20) / Artist, Student, Senior ($15) at BeMused Network
On May 30, 8pm at Gallery 345, founding members Joseph Ferretti, Elaine Lau and Stephanie Chua of junctQín keyboard collective will be celebrating 5 years of contemporary keyboard music performance with a concert that will be anything but your typical piano recital.
The program, an eclectic and fun collection of works inspired by video games and Disney films, will also feature a number of keyboard changes throughout the evening. Above all, it will be a celebration of artistry at the keyboard, and the composers who are pushing the art form in new directions.
There are so many keyboard pianist students in the city, but few have been exposed to the vibrant community of pianists and composers who are exploring extensions of the keyboard tradition, and having lots of fun while doing it.
“It’s not like saying good bye and starting something new.” Says Joseph Ferretti, one of junctQín’s founding members. “I still do a lot of standard repertoire playing in addition to contemporary music. What we do in the larger sense is called contemporary classical, and it’s just that; classical music, but being composed now.”
junctQín’s focus on the keyboard and a collective of performing artists offers a lot of possibilities for presenters and their audiences. The group has a busy schedule year-round, participating in different series and performing a variety of ensemble and solo works for the traditional and not-so-typical keyboard instruments.
This past year, junctQín has played at the Canadian Music Centre with the Toy Piano Composer’s 5th anniversary concert and participated in Toronto’s Culture Days festival. Coming up in June you can also catch them at the Open Ear Festival in Kitchener-Waterloo.
FIVE will be their third self-presented concert, which has become a bit of an annual tradition. It is an opportunity for junctQín to work with other composers and artists, and dive into unusual aspects of concert planning such as the fresh batteries needed in order to play a vintage casio keyboard, or the custom tables Lau’s dad helped them build for Musique de Tables by Thierry de Mey.
While some of the works you’ll hear at the FIVE concert were written especially for this group, others were found through listening or research. However, all are junctQín’s favourites from the past few years.
Chad Martin’s andante Balinese was the very first commission written for three toy pianos. It was also junctQín’s first piece ever performed together at the 2009 Spotlight Festival in Kitchener-Waterloo. It’s a very “one of a kind” piece that has taken on a life of its own. Martin has had the piece performed by artists such as Margaret Leng Tan, who will actually be recording it.
Qsqsqsqsqqqqq is written by Tristan Perich who also does a lot of installation art. Speakers are being shipped in especially for this concert. The piece sounds like video game music, and will pair very well with Elisha Denburg’s Warp Zone.
Aaron Gervais’s Snow White from Disney Princess Disasters calls on the pianist’s ability to perform a complex interweaving of rhythms on the keyboard, squeaking with a squeeze toy, and reciting specifically notated spoken words, for a retelling of the classical tale with an alternate ending.
Ligeti’s Etude no. 10, more widely known as The Sorceror’s Apprentice, is also on the program, with Ferretti at the keyboard.
This is a concert about introducing lovers of piano music to the artistic possibilities that have opened up for this instrument. There are no rules, and history is being made by the participation of artists and audiences alike. Performing these works is not the same as being handed the well loved works of old masters of the keyboard, but there is no doubt that the performers are all grounded in their classical roots.
junctQín is looking to the present for the wealth of interesting musical ideas and people to work with, while remaining devoted to the instrument and the pianistic tradition. This is a concert for those who love the ivory keys and who have always wondered what other possibilities this familiar instrument can offer.
Advance tickets ($20/$15) are now available on BeMused Network. Also, stay tuned for a ticket contest next Monday to win a pair of tickets to this show!