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Don't Shoot the Player Piano: The Music of Conlon Nancarrow

Sunday, November 4, 2012
4:00 p.m. Music for 1,000 Fingers: Conlon Nancarrow
Uli Aumüller, Hanne Kaisik (Germany, 1993)

In Person/Yoko Sugiura Nancarrow, Mako Nancarrow, Trimpin, Charles Amirkhanian


For almost sixty years, Conlon Nancarrow worked diligently in a secluded studio in Mexico City. Amidst his antique player pianos, massive library, and growing collection of piano rolls, this brilliant expat composer never faltered in his ongoing experiment with a music of such complexity it thwarted the skill level of most musicians. By the late 1970s, when Nancarrow’s remarkable music began to find acclaim, a small number of critics, composers, and patrons did regularly visit his studio, but none recorded the maestro in situ until Uli Aumüller. Along with Yoko Nancarrow and Charles Amirkhanian, and additional commentary by Gyorgy Ligeti, this crisp portrait shows us Conlon Nancarrow in his well-worn space of vigorous creativity.

• (45 mins, Color, Digital File, From Inpetto Filmproduktion)

Preceded by:
Studies on Nancarrow, #3C(Alban Wesly, Netherlands, 2008). A fragmented image resolves into wholeness as Calefax ebulliently performs #3C. (2:55 mins, Color, Digital Files, From the artist)

Followed by:
Nancarrow Player-Piano Study No. 7(Tal Rosner, Sophie Clements, U.K., 2007) Beginning with the notational image of a piano roll, this graphical landscape sensuously embraces Nancarrow’s ever-evolving tempos and timbres. (7 mins, Color, PAL DVD, From the artists)

Total running time: c. 55 mins