Emigrations

by Istvan Peter B'Racz

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about

I'm a classically trained pianist and composer, and a few years ago, I felt a strong need to come to terms with my love for Jazz: especially Cecil Taylor, Bill Evans, Miles, and some of the more modern folks.

I needed to acknowledge my past classical loves as well, and let them in unabashed to my improvisatory world. I had improvised a lot, from early childhood, and felt it a natural, and pure, form of expression.

I was in NO way, a jazz player, nor had I studied it formally. I had a few jazz how-to books that I found to be stupid and insulting to the art form.

Each moment in life can change the direction, or the general tone, of an improvisation. The more music I studied, the crazier the improvisations became, full of references to other works. I was really embarrassed when these "past sounds" showed through in my playing, and would try to "cover them up". Well, I now think that's silly and unproductive. This is where these works were born.

My idea of an "Emigration" is to allow various influences to visit, and let them take me wherever they will. I really had no idea where things would musically go- I had a very rough structural map (that was open to change if needed at the moment).

I vaguely quote Rachmaninov, Bartok, Ligeti, and Debussy (among others). I let them appear, and then let it guide me to the next place. There are times when the music is somewhat rhythmic- and others where it fights the pulse, as well as turning amorphous. I felt it to be somewhat of a playful conversation with the various "influencers".

I see now that I was coming to terms with the sound-shapes of Jazz and more modern sounds, as an elemental part of my "hands' sound" on the keyboard. I often disdained composing "at the keyboard" because I thought my hands would be "shaping it" the way they know- through their musical history: past works by great composers I had worked on and/or performed, including Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Bartok, Liszt, Mozart, Albeniz, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Glass, Lachenman, Schubert, Schumann, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Sari, Pärt, Mussorgsky, Khachaturian, etc...

These are truly COMPLETELY improvised works, one take, no edits. The recording quality is not great- through a pair of binaural mics into a portable minidisc (at that time was pretty cool), and edited on an ancient computer system.

I decided not to be embarrassed by the quality or be hyper-critical of my playing any more. Life is short, and its better to get stuff out there.

Thank you for your time here.
-Istvan

credits

released December 11, 2018

recorded by myself in rm. 212 (then 209), on five nights, on a slightly out-of-tune blonde 1913 Steinway B, in the dark, late at night, at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT

Copyright 2018: I.P.B'Racz, All Rights Reserved
Recording Copyright 2018: I.P.B'Racz, All Rights Reserved
Text Copyright 2018: I.P.B'Racz, All Rights Reserved

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Istvan Peter B'Racz Connecticut

To all who drift
through this sonic-space

be it by fate or the
element of chance:

I sincerely WELCOME you

and give THANKS!

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