Thursday, August 8, 2019

Recording: Lubomyr Melnyk

Artist: Lubomyr Melnyk

Songs: Butterfly [excerpt] + Windmills [excerpt]

Recorded at St. Anne's Anglican Church (Invocation Presents), June 18, 2019.

Lubomyr Melnyk - Butterfly [excerpt]

Lubomyr Melnyk - Windmills [excerpt]

A night out to church with mystic and braggart Lubomyr Melnyk, who in his seventies is still claiming the crown as the world's fastest durational piano player. Dismissing such prosaic notions as the concept of sound as waves, Melnyk has moved beyond science in seeking out the magical origins of sound, telling the crowd that magic is the slave of sound and the universe is a slave of magic. (Melnyk is not adverse however to deploying technology, such as in a number of "dual piano" pieces that involve one part prerecorded during soundcheck that is then played along with during the concert.)

Melnyk dabbled a bit in "normal" piano styles (such as the beginning of "Butterfly" heard here), but most of the concert was played with his "continuous" technique — rapid flurries of notes that flow like a river into a sort of drone, and creating astonishing overtones that aren't fully captured in recordings. (For a local connection, his continuous playing was first documented in his KMH album, recorded and released by Music Gallery Editions during his late-70's time in the city.) The night ended with the nearly hour-long "Windmills", a musical version of a meticulously-detailed pointillist painting telling the story of a windmill: first functioning in high efficiency, then struggling against storm-winds, then adrift as an untethered soul after collapsing.

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