October 2007

Eve Egoyan plays Alvin Curran's Inner Cities
October 20, 2007 Glenn Gould Studio Toronto
Composed Spontaneity
by David Fujino

I knew that Eve Egoyan — in a kind of marathon effort — would be playing all 12 sections of Alvin Curran's 5-hour long composition for solo piano, Inner Cities, on this Saturday at Glenn Gould Studio.

I also knew she'd already started at 12:30 pm, playing "Inner Cities 1 (1993)", "Inner Cities 2 (1994)", and "Inner Cities 3 (1999) — Light Flowers / Dark Flowers". Then she played "Inner Cities 4" (2003), "Inner Cities 5", "Inner Cities 6 & 7 (1998)" at 2:30 pm, and at 4:30 pm, "Inner Cities 8 (2000)" and "Inner Cities 9 (2001)."

When I caught up with her at 8 pm, Egoyan walked out onto the stage, accepted the applause, and commenced with the 50-minute long "Inner Cities 10 (1993)."

She leaned forward ever so slightly, listening to the carefully placed, repeating bass note in her left hand (the repetitions of Steve Reich came to mind).

Minutes later, "Inner Cities 10" had become a punishing, repeating treble sequence with an 8-note bass line, then it was a quick-changing flow of trance and Gospel sounds, which immediately dissolved into single, flat-muted pounding notes, alternating with full keyboard sweeps.

Eve Egoyan

"Inner Cities 11 (2002-3)" was a continuous slow jazz mood and featured insistent bass notes answered by two pulsing chords.

In the final composition, "Inner Cities 12 (2005)", a slow-blooming 2 then 3-note figure grew plausibly into an eccentric lullaby, during which, at one point, Egoyan stopped playing altogether. After 10-12 seconds of silence, she then resumed by playing triple pianissimo ppp repeating bass notes inside Curran's modern and defined and bleak sound space.

It seems fair to describe these Curran piano compositions as experimental/traditional — experimental because of repetition like in Steve Reich and Phillip Glass; experimental because of the full keyboard glissandos and judo-chopped tone clusters.

But these compositions are also traditionalist because, after the storms and cosmic outbursts, they ended positively in a state of peaceful resolution.

Eve Egoyan's focused desire to serve all of the music was compelling. She seemed the ideal interpreter.

> www.eveegoyan.com <
We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
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