U of M School of Music Presents Professor James Dillon's "Book of Elements" Performed by Pianist Noriko Kawai on May 15, 2013
U of M School of Music will present composer and U of M professor James Dillon's Book of Elements, a five-volume piano solo, performed by pianist Noriko Kawai on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall (2128 4th St. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455). This event is free and open to the public.
Kawai performed The Book of Elements, which has been described by BBC Music Magazine as "rich" and "utterly riveting," at the UK Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Royal College of Music in London, and the Alicante Summer Festival in Spain. In 2003, she recorded a CD of Elements.
"To play all volumes in one go is a quite a tour de force," says Kawai, who premiered volume 2 in Germany. "It's about 90 minutes without any intermission."
But daunting as it is, Kawai savors the challenge; once she starts, she says, time ceases to exist and the music takes over. "What I like about Dillon's piano music is, despite his vast knowledge of the keyboard literature, his language remains unique, outrageous, elegant, exasperating, funny, and helplessly beautiful," she says.
When asked what he wanted people to leave with after attending the May 15 concert, Dillon, who started composing at about the age of seven or eight, replied: "The only thing one can hope for is that an audience has an open and curious mind, nothing else. And actually, what they'd leave with, I don't want to have any control over whatsoever. The concert contains all the things that one demands of a concert, which is essentially a kind of musical magic."
"The Book of Elements a five-part essay in continuity versus discontinuity and concentrated substance for solo piano that amounts, I think, to be the most significant contribution to the pianist's repertoire since György Ligeti's Etudes."
--Tom Service, The Guardian
Read The Guardian's Guide to James Dillon's music: http://bit.ly/16xXjZS