Collaborations from across the Americas

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Banff pianist and composer Luciane Cardassi’s upcoming performance Le piano parlant at Banff Centre’s Rolston Recital Hall will explore collaboration in contemporary music.

Cardassi moved to Banff 10 years ago, taking part in a Banff Centre residency after receiving her doctorate from the University of California in contemporary music performance.

Originally from Brazil, Cardassi has been collaborating with composers for over 20 years, along with creating her own contemporary compositions. The project includes her voice offered in different languages; two pieces are in Portuguese, one is in French, two are in English. Curating of Le piano parlant is thanks in part to a Canada Council Grant.

“I’ve been playing new music for a long time and six years ago I created a project called Going North about my trajectory in coming from Brazil and now living in Canada and keeping collaborations with composers from Brazil, Canada and the U.S.,” Cardassi said.

Going North became a big part of Cardassi’s life, having performed the concert in several locations, with new pieces being added. Today, she has more than 20 pieces written for the project, which consisted of collaborating with each composer, including new works for piano, pianist voice, electronics and different combinations.

The Le piano parlant concert program consists of Nova Pon, Myosotis (2012) for vocal pianist, Emilie LeBel, Longing (2011) piano, Antonio Celso Ribeiro 3 Baladas do Amor Amargo (2013) I. Noemia, Maria Eduarda Martins, Douce Dame Jolie (2017), Brian Griffeath-Loeb Vergence II: No Meio do Caminho (2010–12) and Paulo Rios Filho Ramos (2016) for piano, voice and electronics.

During the creation of the program, she learned the Latin word for forget-me-not, and how to transport oneself to a beautiful summer hike in the Rocky Mountains through the words of Monica Meneghetti and the music of Nova Pon.

There is ancient French language in collaboration with Martins, and intense and practically unknown poetry by Noémia de Souza, from Mozambique, in the collaboration with Antonio Celso Ribeiro.

She also learned she could quickly switch between two languages, being fluent in her native Portuguese and English, in the middle of phrases, while playing quite complex rhythms in the music of Brian Griffeath-Loeb.

“I also had the chance to meet a shaman healer in northern Brazil and listen to her approach to life, cures and music, which I converse with during my performance of Ramos, a piece by Paulo Rios Filho,” Cardassi said.

“I really enjoy collaborating with composers because as a pianist I’ve always felt my work too lonely and when I first started collaborating, it was a way to socialize, to have a presence in my community and be a part of creating the future of music instead of just reproducing the work done in the past in classical music – you’re often playing music by composers not living anymore.”

The point of her work 20 years ago in Brazil was to collaborate with living composers and be part of a process creating the music they will hopefully carry into the future; her way of being part of the process of creating contemporary music today for the next generation.

“Especially today, with technology making it so accessible to everyone, it’s very easy for me to collaborate with composers from Brazil, and anywhere in Canada because now we don’t need to be face-to-face all the time,” Cardassi said. “Sometimes I work with people I’ve never met in person, only on Skype and this concert is full of beautiful poetry, acting, singing and, last but not least, the piano.”

Le piano parlant takes place May 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Banff Centre’s Rolston Recital Hall. Tickets: $15, available at Gingko and Ink Atelier (Harmony Lane -Banff) or at the door.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook