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Get Inspired

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If touched by the sorcery of the piano we dutifully return to it as enchanted protagonists in a fairytale.

It's worth remembering, however, that enchanted protagonists seem to have one of two fates. The first - sleepwalking and unable to account for their actions - are almost always wretched: a zombie, the werewolf. The other is rarer, but far more life-affirming! Liberty is traded for empowering gifts: the genie, the golden fish, the swan in the Tale of Tsar Sultan.

If the first is barely conscious, the second is fully aware of the transformative powers it can command. To stay awake, a keen focus on the steps you take to enable the transformation is paramount: mice for horses to draw the pumpkin carriage, but a rat as coachman. 

This part of the website will be regularly updated with a collection of tips and ideas to help you stay focused and inspired on your lifelong piano journey.

Chateau d'Aix Festival, France

Find out about out next  live 'Get Inspired' initiative:

Piano Blitz

Some thoughts on programming

Below is the first and second half of a live concert in Oxford.  It weaved together Tchaikovsky's Seasons with miniatures of the Russian avant garde.  These are rarities by Arthur Lourie, Nikolai Roslavets and Andrei Volkonsky. 

 

Tchaikovsky's Seasons are often dismissed as salon pieces, and even he called them 'pancakes'.  If so, they must have been written for some extremely accomplished amateurs - they are deceptively simple! The avant garde pieces really illuminate how visionary Tchaikovsky was.  I was intrigued to put together a programme that put a spotlight on common motifs echoing between the Tchaikovsky and the avant garde pieces I put together.  All too often we try to separate things into styles.  We focus on differences, on some kind of idea of 'progress'. We forget too often how art often exists in dialogue with other art - dissolving the boundaries of time with which we try to constrain it. It inspired me to treat these works as kindred spirits, rather than artistic creations separated by epochs.

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