At the start of this year, I finished writing the piano suite that forms the first part of my Chopin Project – a large-scale, multi-stage project that starts with a series of piano pieces based on Chopin’s Preludes. Writing them was, despite the inevitable crises (wait- let me get this straight: I’m writing music based on Chopin and sending it off to Poland? Am I crazy?), intensely pleasurable – I don’t think I’d enjoyed writing purely instrumental music this much in at least a decade. And I think it shows in the music, and I still enjoy listening to them (my MIDI mock-up performances) almost a year later.
They were always intended to be premiered this year, the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, and it’s been a long road to getting to this performance, but we’ve made it, and just in the nick of time thanks to the Australian Institute of Music where I teach. Turns out from an HSC music-student’s perspective this is a good gig to go and see – you can kill two birds with one stone (new Australian music from the past 25 years – tick! – and a 19th century study – tick!).
They will of course be premiered by the wonderful Zubin Kanga, for whom they were written and who has been learning them over the past few months living in London where he’s completing his PhD… which means that I’ve not heard them yet. He gets back next week, and I can hardly wait until then to hear what he’s done with them. In a good way.