New From Innova
Innova tells us, “Remember when you struggled through your weekly piano lesson, chipping away at frustration and the Classics? Schumann, Debussy, Bartok, Scott Joplin, John Thompson? And then your teacher slid over on the piano bench and played it like it was meant to go: both hands together, with feeling, easy fingering, all the repeats…? And you glimpsed what music really was?
Now recapture that sense of awe as a grown-up with this collection of new solo piano works that share an affectionate glance over the shoulder at those innocent and turbulent times. Now you can hear rags, etudes, lullabies, jaunty jazz licks, gamelan, vaudeville, and impressionistic scenes: Angst-free.
The fingers and mind behind Second Childhood belong to Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, piano professor, Matthew McCright. He is known for his dedication to contemporary music by composers such as Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe and Mark Anthony Turnage among many others.
For Second Childhood, composers John Halle, Bruce Stark, Kirsten Broberg, Dan Nass, Greg Hutter, and Laura Caviani take us on a kaleidoscopic journey through these shared, crayon-colorful, fragmentary memories. This is music you could have made if you had stuck with it. For the rest of us we can sit back, forget the midlife crisis, and listen with wonder.”
Matthew McCright best explains his motivations and direction:
“Not surprisingly it was my curious nature that led my young self to a family friend’s piano at a dinner party.
I was hooked.
Music and I have been inseparable ever since.
Much of my youth was spent practicing scales and etudes and learning the works of the past. But I was always listening. Yes, to great recordings of Horowitz, Argerich, and Serkin, but also to rock and roll: the Beatles, the B-52’s, Doors, Monk, Big Band, and Madonna. Strange mix isn’t it? But somehow it makes sense.
Being a sort of musical chameleon, I found myself always changing for the better idea and a new experience. Naturally it led me (with the help of some great teachers!) to the world of living composers. They continue to amaze me. They are not afraid to take risks, get a little dirty, and create something unique and individual. I strive to reach that same ideal. Working with them, I have discovered new sound worlds, and what has been asked of me goes far beyond basic piano skill. I have had to grunt, scream, kick, play teapots, and perform in the strangest of places: bars, museums, open air spaces, abandoned mills, and printing houses.
“Breaking the rules” has led to a very unique career and enriching experiences. I continue to commission new, strange, bold, and unusual work with a no-holds-barred attitude. I can’t imagine doing anything else. This world continues to inspire me to try anything, create, explore, and grow.”