Spectrum Presents Jenny Q Chai in Sonorous Brushes

  • News
  • September 19, 2018

On Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 8:00pm, Spectrum presents contemporary Chinese-American pianist Jenny Q Chai in Sonorous Brushes, a multi-sensory program employing Chai’s unique form of synesthesia. The program explores repertoire that lives at the intersection of color and sound, exploring this meeting of the senses through important works of the colorful Impressionistic era paired with new works created using Artificial Intelligence technology. In order to fully realize this concept, Chai completed a six-month residency at Cité des Arts in Paris, where she worked simultaneously on the musical performance and the paintings associated with each score. Sonorous Brushes was designed and premiered at Wigmore Hall in London on June 26, 2018.


The program features Debussy Etudes Pour les huit doigts and Pour les quartes, Les tierces alternée and Feux d’artifice from Debussy’s Prelude Book 2 No.11, Frédéric Durieux’s Pour tous ceux qui tombent – Hommage à Ravel, Ravel’s Oiseux tristes, and Messiaen’s Cantéyodjayâ. The evening ends with two audio-visual works by Polish composer and Stanford University Music Department Chair, Jaroslaw Kapuściński: Side Effects and the US premiere of Calligraphies for Ziqi.

Chai explains, “To begin our journey of synesthesia, we open with Frédéric Durieux’s Pour tous ceux qui tombent-Hommage à Ravel, a tribute to the melancholy often found in Ravel’s music, as so beautifully represented by Ravel’s Oiseux tristes. Messiaen’s Cantéyodjayâ, based on Indonesian rhythms, demonstrates the synesthetic composer’s use of sound palette in his own strong and expressionistic way. As we jump forward to the 21st century, Artificial Intelligence technologies such as the highly advanced Antescofo program allow computers to act as intelligent and attentive co-performers. As the performer plays, the computer listens and anticipates their actions. It can then play its own visual and audio parts as live electronics and visual artists would in real time. Using these techniques, Kapuściński created Calligraphies for Ziqi with a companion video that demonstrates a hyper-real view of calligraphy. Her speed of strokes and the layering of papers is directed and manipulated by the tempo and rubato choices of pianist’s playing in real time.”

Chai is a vital champion and early tester of the groundbreaking synchronous score-following software program, Antescofo. Developed at IRCAM by scientist Arshia Cont and composer Marco Stroppa, the software offers a real-time computer and animation response to live performance elements, enabling performers to create multimedia presentations of sophisticated and expressive fluency. Chai explored and helped hone Antescofo in residence at IRCAM alongside frequent collaborator Jarosław Kapuściński, and has since toured internationally with the software, offering multimedia performances in Shanghai, New York, Havana, and elsewhere.

Program Information
Sonorous Brushes
Jenny Q Chai, piano
Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 8:00pm
Spectrum | 70 Flushing Ave. | Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $15 General Admission / $10 Students and Seniors
Link: www.spectrumnyc.com

Claude Debussy: Etude, Pour les huit doigts
Claude Debussy: Etude, Pour les quartes
Claude Debussy: Prelude Book 2 No.11, Les tierces alternées
Claude Debussy: Prelude Book 2 No.11, Feux d’artifice
Frédéric Durieux: Pour tous ceux qui tombent – Hommage à RAVEL
Maurice Ravel: Oiseux tristes
Olivier Messiaen: Cantéyodjayâ
Jaroslaw Kapuściński: Calligraphies for Ziqi (New York Premiere)
Jaroslaw Kapuściński: Side Effects