anon. is one of Australia’s most innovative performance groups, reimagining the live classical music experience.
This week in the Primrose Potter Salon, anon. presents a contemporary classical program of works including the Australian premiere of Daniel Schnyder’s Piano Trio, Nicholas Buc's Buc-to-Bach and Stuart Greenbaum’s 800 Million Heartbeats.
Ahead of the concert, anon. sat down with each composer to uncover the musical influences behind the compositions and what audiences can expect from this exciting concert experience.
How would you describe your musical influences in 800 Million Heartbeats?
Looking back at this piece, I can see many small technical threads – the influence of great composers including Steve Reich, Pat Metheny and Lyle mays, Arvo Pärt, Maria Schneider and Brenton Broadstock. In my music, the influence of jazz, pop and minimalism sits alongside the Western classical canon. But when I listen to 800 Million Heartbeats, I think I hear a shade of Pink Floyd also – maybe the instrumental moodiness of mid to late 1970’s Pink Floyd. None of this is or was deliberate. But as composers we are highly shaped not just by what we listen to – but what deeply affects us.
How would you like for audiences to experience 800 Million Heartbeats?
Immersively. On your own terms. In your own time. Try closing your eyes.
How would you describe your musical influences in Buc-to-Bach?
My style is very much influenced by a cinematic approach, with a focus on emotional connections and feelings that have an underlying sense of narrative.
How would you like for audiences to experience Buc-to-Bach?
This work was commissioned as part of Bach X Reimagined, a music series presented by anon. at NGV Friday Nights in response to the Escher X nendo exhibition. By combining three of Bach’s greatest solo instrumental works with my own material, I’m hoping to form a new way of hearing this music that takes the listener on a sonic journey before they enter the exhibition, in a way mirroring the experience they are about to receive when viewing Escher’s work.
How would you describe your musical influences in your Piano Trio?
There are many influences ranging from Jazz to Funk to Latin music but also to the age of the golden counterpoint and renaissance music – there’s a mysterious hidden structure in the second movement; adding a meditation feel of suspense and mathematical riddle to that movement. On the other hand, the history of the format of the piano trio in classical and romantic music builds the formal structure of the piece - in this regard the piece is traditional. I want it to work next to a Beethoven or Haydn or Brahms Trio…
How would you like for audiences to experience your Piano Trio?
I want them to enjoy the music spontaneously and feel the rhythmic energy and joy inside the music in a visceral way; but at the same time I do not want to be predictable. If somebody wants to hear the music twice he shall always hear something different; detect new things. The audience should experience a reflection of our urban reality, at the same time experience our musical heritage way back to formats that do not really exist anymore. For example, spiral canons in inversion (3rd movement); or the canon in proportion in the 2nd movement where at one point everybody is playing the theme at different speeds at the same time superimposed to each other. The listener (and musician) should be able to find always new layers to be explored. In this regard the music reflects the past and the present in the mirror of the piano trio format.
You can see anon. bring these incredible works to life in the Primrose Potter Salon on Friday 1 March 6.30pm. Click here for more information and to book tickets.