by Chris Abrahams
Love List is our Spotify series where we ask Opera House guests and friends to curate playlists dedicated to an artist, genre or subject of their choice.
A sonic adventurer whose improvisational approach is matched by his expressive sense of melody, legendary Kiwi pianist Chris Abrahams has been pushing boundaries as part of the Sydney music since the early 1980s, working with artists as diverse as The Church, Midnight Oil and Silverchair, and performing as a member of The Sparklers, Laughing Clowns, and The Necks – the legendary jazz trio who have collaborated with Brian Eno, Swans and Underworld.
To celebrate his Liminal performance at the Opera House, Abrahams has put together a list of his favourite piano music. Like Abraham's own work, this collection of keys tunes is eclectic – sometimes meditative and meandering, other times melodic and adventurous. Gear up for the music that inspires the master.
“Mal Waldron gave me my first glimpse of the hypnotising power of repetition in music. I saw him play in Sydney in the eighties’, which was very lucky.”
“One of the most profound solo piano statements ever recorded.”
“I love Joseph Bonner’s piano playing with Pharaoh Sanders. He stands as one of the all-time great exponents of the piano riff. This one is a beauty.”
“I think this was the first time I heard how momentum can be aestheticized. The way McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones manipulate forward motion here is both uncanny and virtuosic. This piano performance was hugely influential on me.”
“A beautiful track. Her music contains elements ofrom numerous cultures: Ethiopian improvisation, Jazz, western classical music, modal music from the Orthodox church.”
“An extraordinary trio with Magda Mayas, Monica Brooks and Laura Altman. Mayas’ approach to expanding the sound-making capabilities of the piano.”
“A truly remarkable musician and writer. There’s a strong metaphor in the reclaiming of abandoned / ‘ruined’ instruments for the making of music. New, profound statements are made possible with the micro-tunings and timbral breadth of instruments re-contextualised.”
“A duo album with Anthony Pateras and Jerome Noetinger. The brilliant Anthony Pateras is at the forefront of contemporary composition and performance. His solo piano stuff is mind-boggling in its conceptual surety and virtuosity. Also well worth hearing is his work with Mike Patton in tetema.”
"I had the pleasure of seeing Charlemagne Palestine a couple of times now, once on the organ at the Melbourne Town Hall with Tony Conrad; another time solo piano at Carriageworks in Sydney. His manipulation of sympathetic resonation, apart from being highly emotive and beautiful, has been very influential. "
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