Ten contemporary composers share their works on PIANO SPECTRUMS, a profoundly emotive selection of aesthetic contemporary pieces performed by Anna Kislitsyna. Among these works is composer Eric Chapelle’s Place in Landscape, which emulates the flow of the water on the coast of Taormina and its subtle shades of turquoise, cobalt, and violet.
Today, Eric is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn how his trial run of a piano turned into a public performance, and why he would choose Scotland as a creative escape destination…
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
Well, it occurred to me when I was very young and walking along a creek in the woods behind where I was staying at the time — in an orphanage in France. It was an afternoon setting where I could hear the wind rattle the poplar trees overhead. Suddenly the wind seemed to sound like orchestral music! I was transfixed and mesmerized by hearing music in the wind! That was an incredible experience, and I still remember that moment vividly to this day.
What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
The most unusual performance was when I was in London on a visit, and I went to Harrod’s to go shopping and look at that amazing store! There was a music department and they had this beautiful Bösendorfer Birdseye Maple Senator Grand Piano on display. I asked the sales clerk if I could play it, and he said go for it. I started playing it, and shoppers stopped and listened to my improvisation. It was a beautiful piano, and it was a joy to play it!
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
For sure it would be The Highlands in Scotland. The region is home to stunning scenery. I could easily spend days walking about the region and get inspired by nature, and then sit at a piano in a small cottage somewhere and write from the experience.
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?
Actually, it was hearing the first tract Prelude for piano by Michael Cohen — a great introduction to this collection of wonderful works. Anna Kislitsyna brought the composition to life, together with the amazing engineers who recorded it. I also love the incredible acoustics of the space where this album was recorded.
What does this album mean to you personally?
It is such an honor to be part of this talented group of composers on this compilation album, but what really stands out is the overall feeling of hearing Anna perform these works on this beautiful Steinway Model D grand piano, recorded in the Shalin Liu Performance Hall in Rockport MA.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
Hopefully, to feel like they are experiencing the same feeling that I had when I was watching the Mediterranean sea from Taormina.