From Hammered! at Q2: “Something Borrowed”

Hammered! is a focused program of keyboard music at Q2
Streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2


“Few pianists have proven themselves to be more programmatically inventive and musically provocative than this month’s Hammered! host in-residence, Bruce Brubaker. Open your ears all June for a month’s worth of programs specially curated for Q2 by one of today’s most intriguing contemporary artists.

In each of Brubaker’s four week-long programs, the distinguished concert pianist, New England Conservatory faculty member and new music Jedi examines a series of endlessly fascinating themes and offers 1,200 minutes of music that is almost entirely new to Q2.

Each week will include a hosted Monday show and program note from Brubaker, and we’ll also offer exclusive music videos recorded live by Brubaker of works by Philip Glass and John Cage.

Tune in all month for what promises to be an illuminating, sometimes quirky and altogether fascinating dive into the curatorial mind of Bruce Brubaker.”


Week One: “Something Borrowed” | by Bruce Brubaker

In music today there’s so much borrowing, appropriation, even theft! Maybe we need different ideas about stealing, or artistic property? (We won’t even talk about copyright.) Post-production art is the making of pathways, more than creating—the MC doing a remix, more than the “capital-c” Composer handing down a masterpiece from the mountain top.

What’s left to say or make, if everything’s already been said and made? And besides, the whole idea of “creating” music is recent. Mr. Bach would certainly say (in English!), “I’m just a musician. It’s God who creates things.”

So this week on Hammered!, “Something Borrowed.” Sartorial advice for the bride, and now a major motion picture. It’s not surprising composers borrow or steal so much—if you consider that we’re all just adding to a big collective artwork.

We hear piano music with literal borrowings: George Crumb taking Frederic Chopin, George Rochberg framing Johann Sebastian Bach, Hans Werner Henze rifling Johannes Brahms. And there will be more subtle allusions, hints, shared lexia, intertexts …