Music Professor Nadia Shpachenko’s recently released CD focuses on the importance of place.
The eight-compositions on “The Poetry of Places” are works inspired by a diverse array of noted architectural landmarks from the Copland House in Cortlandt, New York to The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore to the Newgrange Ancient Temple in Ireland.
Shpachenko, a two-time Grammy-nominated pianist, said she often feels attuned to the spaces where she performs, drawn to the ornamentation, history, light and sound of a concert hall. Through her most recent project, she found out that she is not alone.
“I discovered a few years ago that this affinity for architectural space is shared by many of the composers that I admire,” she said. “I began inquiring about their interest in contributing to a program of works inspired by buildings or places that have impacted them.”
The result was six solo works written for the album by composers Amy Beth Kirsten, Hannah Lash, James Matheson, Harold Meltzer, Lewis Spratlan and Jack Van Zandt. Los Angeles Philharmonic pianist Joanne Pearce Martin and Los Angeles Percussion Quartet artists Nick Terry and Cory Hills joined Shpachenko in recording two additional pieces – “Frank’s House” by Andrew Norman and “Kolokol” by Nina C. Young.
“The music on this album is exciting, diverse and adventurous,” she said. “The composers use many unusual instruments, such as the toy piano in Kirsten’s “h.o.p.e.” or the handmade percussion instruments in “Frank’s House,” all made of materials that Frank Gehry’s house features, including plywood, chain link fencing and corrugated metal.”
Since the album came out in March, Shpachenko has performed CD release concerts in New York’s Symphony Space and at San Francisco’s Center for New Music, among other places. She planned to tour the program this fall to promote the release, but an accident forced her to put the tour on hold. She hopes to resume performing in the spring, she said. The album has received rave reviews from the San Francisco Chronicle, Fanfare Magazine, and Piano Magazine, among others, and has been submitted for Grammy consideration.
“I hope that the music on this album will transport the listeners to the locations that inspired each of the pieces,” she said, “and that each listener’s imagination will take them to a new place, full of wonder and discovery through the music.“
Visit https://nadiashpachenko.com/recordings-the-poetry-of-places/ for more information about the album.