08. 03. 2016

LUBOMYR MELNYK

Lubomyr Melnyk, the piano mag who has been making piano music exciting again alongside Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds and other fellow musicians under the Erased Tapes Records, is bringing the piano closer to contemporary popular music, and in turn winning over young generations of musicians and audiences alike. The captivating maestro of hypnotic repetitions on

Lubomyr Melnyk, the piano mag who has been making piano music exciting again alongside Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds and other fellow musicians under the Erased Tapes Records, is bringing the piano closer to contemporary popular music, and in turn winning over young generations of musicians and audiences alike.

The captivating maestro of hypnotic repetitions on piano is coming to Slovenia for the first time, riding the wave of his exceptional album Rivers and Streams, which was released on Erased Tapes in late 2015.

Lubomyr Melnyk is a true innovator, exploring new directions for contemporary music. Classically trained and greatly affected by the minimalist movement in the early 1970s, the Ukrainian pianist developed his own unique language for the piano, named after the principle of maintaining a continuous, unbroken stream of sound. Playing rapid and complex note patterns made Lubomyr one of the world’s fastest concert pianists. His virtuoso piano technique forms overtones that blend, collide or even create new melodies in rare moments, and thereby shape the composition beyond its original form.

In recent years, Melnyk has creatively been merging gradually into the new scene of piano artists, opening up a new field between contemporary classical music and indie pop. Accordingly, his latest three albums were released on Erased Tapes, whereas he also carried out notable collaborations with Nils Frahm, the undisputed key figure of the new field who also considers himself one of Melnyk’s greatest fans.

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Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk has often felt that his unique Continuous Music playing is akin to water – flowing and ever connected. As he further developed his technique, and the more the notes flowed, the closer to water he felt. “I found my hands and arms and everything inside them changing from normal muscle and flesh to well… water.”

With his latest album, ‘Rivers and Streams’, Lubomyr focuses deeply on this connection to water, to the point where the music itself begins to embody its liquid form. Produced by Robert Raths and Jamie Perera, the album flows seamlessly from the live recordings of ‘The Pool of Memories’, captured in a church, to pieces entirely born in the studio, such as ‘Sunshimmers’ and ‘Ripples in a Water Scene’, which feature Perera on acoustic and electric guitar.

The album reaches its climax in ‘The Amazon’, a 20-minute piece dedicated to the world’s largest river. Raths invited Korean flautist Hyelim Kim to guest on the first part, before Lubomyr closes the album with cascades of arpeggio figures, stretching across the breadth of the keyboard with rapid virtuosity.

In the body of the Continuous Piano Master, the fingers and the hands turn into Water, Air and Stone. These are the three manifestations of the Continuous Technique. And for the Continuous Pianist, the fingers physically transform the music into one of these three elements.

The greatest of all miracles in the universe is Water. It is also, I believe, the rarest of all physical things in the universe. Water is the most magical and the most mysterious of all things we know! And so I dedicate this album to the Rivers and Streams of this world – in gratitude for their Beauty!“ – Lubomyr Melnyk

Previous press:
‘Superb’  – Mojo
‘Captivating as ever’ – The Wire
‘Modern classical raptures’  – Uncut

Organised by Kataman v sodelovanju s Kinom Šiška.

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