Centuries - A piano performance

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The project

How it started

It started in the Spring 2007 with an improvisation which I called "centuries". I had been working on "Styx. A Long Journey", the first of my musical projects that consists completely of my own compositions.
The process of composing "Styx" was an interesting experience for me. I had always felt music in myself that I wished to compose. In 2006 I started to have a very creative phase where a lot of this music became real. The result was a very dramatic program. I was personally so much immersed in this work that it felt like existential. So I sometimes used to say that I am composing existential music. But then, with this particular improvisation "centuries", (It appears as the second piece of this program) something changed. I felt the need to get to a certain point of overview, like I was climbing onto a mountain and looking at the dramas, turmoils and emotions of life from the more neutral distance of an observer. Later I remembered a poem that I had learned at school which was about an eternal wanderer who comes every 500 years to the same place and notices the changes that occur there. That was exactly the mood I could relate to in this phase. So actually the music was first and afterwards I found the correlating poem.

How I work

Well, I improvise. I record what I play and then I work with the recorded material. There are many different inputs that can inspire me to do an improvisation, like an impression from nature, an interesting conversation with a friend, thoughts about life and last but not least music itself. It is as if there were different rooms, one with known, another one with unknown inputs. Sometimes I open the door to the room with the unknown inputs and sometimes the other door. A known input can be for instance a musical motif, I start to play it, try to follow it's way, developing it, variating it, finding other motifs that are in contrast to the first one. An unknown input can be for instance an unexpected experience or encounter of which I don't know yet really if it will stay with me or not, but I don't like to delete them, I always try to keep and to look how and where they will grow with the time.
It means that I have a lot of recordings, and the way how I work with them is again a sort of starting the process, I listen to them and they can also appear as known and unknown inputs but for me there is a "real time" which has the inputs from the past together with the feelings from the present. And then I work choosing which ones can form a program. It's then when I notice a certain coherence in some groups of pieces that I recognise as belonging to different styles. For instance I have a big collection of pieces that belong to the "Styx" program, actually much more than I have performed yet. And the same happens with the "Centuries" program. And these two could form again the beginning of a new process. It's a sort of fractal theory...

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