Chicago Wandelweiser Festival: R. Andrew Lee | Constellation | Fairs & Festivals | Chicago Reader
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Chicago Wandelweiser Festival: R. Andrew Lee 

When: Sun., Sept. 21, 8:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $10
Different styles of music require different kinds of virtuosity. “Great Balls of Fire” wouldn’t have sounded so exciting if Glenn Gould had played it with his exacting touch, and Jerry Lee Lewis couldn’t have extracted much poetry from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier with his percussive attack. Denver-based pianist R. Andrew Lee has recorded the music of composers Eva-Maria Houben and Jürg Frey (members of the international Wandelweiser collective) for the Irritable Hedgehog label; their work requires players to be finely attuned to the threshold between sound and silence, as well as able to maintain cohesion and pacing over the long haul, and Lee’s recordings reveal his mastery of the minutiae of transitions and his sure-footed negotiation of wide-open spaces. On Houben’s “Go and Stop,” which he’ll perform tonight, the exquisite variety with which he renders the decay of notes imbues the quiet music with poignancy and suspense. Lee will also play Frey’s “Pianist, Alone No. 2,” Craig Shepherd’s “December,” and Michael Pisaro’s “Distance (1).” Prior to the concert, he’ll participate in a 6:30 PM Wandelweiser panel discussion with the composers and Aperiodic director Nomi Epstein. —Bill Meyer



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