Thursday, October 2, 2008
Lubomyr Melnyk - The Lund-St. Petri Symphony For Double Piano Part I
It's a rare occasion when a single person comes along and does something so completely original and amazing that it changes the way you view things forever. If you haven't heard of Lubomyr Melnyk before, prepare to be be brain fuckled.
Melnyk created an entirely new way of playing piano which he calls Continuous Music. It's appropriately titled because he plays (in the case of The Lund-St. Petri Symphony) at the speed of 11-14 notes per second in each hand. For 45 minutes. That's at least 30,000 notes on one record. By one man. I don't know what how many notes are found on the average 45 minute record, but lets just assume it's less. Like, a lot less. He actually holds two world records for being the most awesomest pianist ever. One for Fastest Pianist (19.5 notes per second in each hand) and another for Most Number Of Notes In One Hour (93,650 individual notes in 60 minutes, averaging 13 notes per second in each hand).
OK, so this guy has really fast fingers. Cool. Another novelty record? NO. How dare you. This is not a "novelty record." This is some of the most gorgeous, hypnotic music I've ever heard, swallowing my body in a "Sea Of Sound." Listening to Melnyk play the piano is truly breathtaking and unlike any experience you've likely had.
The Lund-St. Petri Symphony was originally composed and performed live played on 3 organs (but recorded on piano) in the Domkyrkan cathedral in Lund, Sweden. However, Melnyk claims that current technology would be unable to capture the "extreme density of sound" of 3 pianos (which I believe) and hence the recorded version contains the piece played on both solo (first disc) and double (second disc) piano. Melnyk hoped that one day he could release a version with an extra disc/record that contained the third piano and would be played simultaneously with the first disc but that has never happened and probably never will. We will just have to settle to imagine what the original triple organ performance in Domkyrkan sounded like. Sadly, I don't think my brain is up to the challenge.
I urge you to find and listen to as much of Lubomyr Melnyk's Continuous Music as possible. It's rare to come by and if you ever find a recording somewhere, buy it immediately. If you regret your purchase, then I don't like you.