Thursday, 6 September 2012


In three weeks... the premiere. I'm having some sleepless nights, wondering. I'm not really worried. I just wonder. What will happen. Huang Yi has just come from Düsselfdorf where he toured with CloudGate2.
Now we have less than a month to rehearse and structure the piece.
"I'm worried too. Hu Chien is worried as well."
We make a fine trio! 
What occupies my mind is how create a music music which will be simple and unadorned as Huang Yi wishes, and yet doesn't sound like pastiche of already known music. My limitations as a pianist make things even more difficult. Or maybe it is the contrary? Precisely because I'm not a piano virtuoso, I will find something which will faithfully mirror my state of mind as a person and musician in the simplest manner...

Huang Yi and I met today for another rehearsal at the National theatre, this time without Hu Chien. We worked on the non-musical duet between he and I: as he dances, I will be using the table as my instrument. Huang Yi responded very well to my improvisation. We stopped after forty minutes of that, utterly happy with the outcome. There was an expression in Huang Yi's eyes I haven't seen before: joy and excitement. My hands were totally bruised (I got so taken away by my new 'instrument' that I didn't control my movements)
"It's going to be an improvised moment" he eventually said. "I think the scene requires that. I'm always a bit reticent to do improvisations, but in this case, it works perfectly well." 
Then came the big question: what was Huang Yi going to play at the piano? I started to discreetly play something that came to my mind. When Huang Yi noticed it and said that he liked it, I shaped up the music so he could learn it straight away. One hour later, he could play it fairly well and I saw that twinkle in his eyes again.
"We finished twenty minutes of the piece today!" he said.
"Did we??? I didn't .... notice that!"
"Yes! And now I know how to connect all the different parts of the piece now! Everything is clear for me now"
I was glad to see Huang Yi in such state of elation. As far as I was concerned, I was also excited. My piano playing suddenly made sense.
I still have to figure out how not to make the music sound like rip off of Arvo Pärt or Max Richter. Huang Yi loves Arvo Pärt...

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