ISSN 2605-2318


Interview with Eve Egoyan


Entrevista. De Puro Amor & En Amor Duro de María de Alvear, es un doble CD editado en World Edition e interpretado por Eve Egoyan piano. Hemos podido hablar con la pianista y esto es lo que nos ha contado. Interview. De Puro Amor & En Amor Duro by María de Alvear, is a double CD released in World Edition and performed by Eve Egoyan piano. We have talked to the pianist and this is what she has told us.


"Maria’s powerful and unique musical language which holds us spellbound in its net"


1. Ruth Prieto:
World Edition has just published a double album by María de Alvear De Puro Amor & En Amor Duro. What can you tell us about these CDs? 

Eve Egoyan: It is hard to know where to start when writing about Maria’s music. Perhaps it is best to start with Maria’s own words. Here is the text that runs through the score offering a glimpse into Maria’s world.

De puro amor (1991) Out of Pure Love

quemando / burning
lágrima / tear
en sublimación total / in total sublimation
sudando / sweating
besa dulcemente el piano en su boca / gently kiss the piano on its mouth
sin tocar sólo acariciando / without playing just caressing
recuperándose / recuperating
triste / sad
cansada / tired
muy cansada / very tired
pensando en flores / thinking of flowers
aire fresco / fresh air
una pera una naranja y un limón / a pear an orange and a lemon
en agradecimiento de poder vivir / thankful for being able to live
humildemente / humbly

En amor duro (1991) In Difficult Love
en la más grande dulzura / with the greatest of sweetness
casi llorando / nearly crying
in einer kräuter wiese / in an herb meadow
me siento tarde a componer con las uñas pintadas de naranja /I sit late to compose with my fingernails painted orange
besando una rosa rosa / kissing a pink rose
como el suave viento / like the gentle wind
dramatiquísimo / very dramatic
después de limpiar profundamente el alma / after a deep cleansing of the soul
2. R.P.: What are we going to discover in this work? 

Eve Egoyan: Maria’s powerful and unique musical language which holds us spellbound in its net. This net is both gentle and powerful, her musical spirit. She holds a space for us within that net which is open, loving, and generous. This space is an expansive landscape that she creates for listeners to enter and find themselves. Within the landscape are territories that we travel through with her.
3. R.P.: The two long solos for piano, De puro amor (‘Of pure love’) and En amor duro (‘In hard love’) were both composed in 1991, recorded in June 2015 and officially launched at a concert given by you in Toronto in April 2018 at which the CD was presented. The process has been very long. How have you found working with María de Alvear? 

Eve Egoyan: I first met Maria in Toronto in 1996 when I performed the North American première of De Puro Amor / En Amor Duro. This was very early in my performance career, before I had recorded any discs or collaborated with composers outside of Canada. These encounters, first with her music and then with her in person, were intense encounters. I found a soulmate. Our future collaborations were born out of knowing one another. Maria has written me two piano concertos (Clear Energy and Sky Music) as well as the solo piano piece Asking (released on Mode Records, N.Y.).
4. R.P.: On the notes that accompany the CD we read: “The scores themselves are completely perplexing. They look less like completed works than preliminary sketches”. Could you explain to us the meaning behind these words to describe her music? 

Eve Egoyan: The scores are visually beautiful. They have the characteristic of black and white pencil drawings. Maria selects all pitches (the notes themselves) and indicates through distance either between the notes (horizontally) or between the hands (vertically) proportions of time. There are evocative words and some dynamic markings but a lot is left unspecified. By leaving decisions to the performer in regards to dynamics, voicing between the hands or within a hand, pedaling and timing decisions, she is trusting the relationship between composer and interpreter. The spaces she leaves open invite her interpreters to invest themselves in new ways creating a collaboration which is richer and broader than most scored pieces afford. By allowing the score to breathe, the music has a chance to breathe as well. The space Maria creates allows for a much bigger collaboration, an awareness of the grand scale that each of our lives are moving through time, through this music. We inhabit her world, this world, together.
5. R.P.: We read also “The score is a map” and “the performer navigates through a piece”. What are the elements that the performer navigates through and what is the performance experience like?
Eve Egoyan: When I perform her music I feel free. The breathing room in the score allows me to adjust as I go along. This keeps the music very alive and true to its moment. I am making decisions based on what I am hearing IN THE NOW, how I hear the piano, the acoustic environment, how I hear my audience, how I feel them listening and how I “speak” to them through the music. Of course, I have made many decisions beforehand but there is room for me to adjust. The music is strong enough to allow that flexibility.
6. R.P.: What is María's music like? 

Eve Egoyan: It is a deeply internal listening journey. It draws you in and guides you through a challenging adventure. Its intensity can be almost unbearable at times, sometimes seemingly endlessly still or imploringly emotional.

7.  R.P.: What is missing today in the dissemination of music of present-day creation? Does it reach a sufficiently wide audience?

Eve Egoyan: I believe and trust that audiences will find the music they want and need to hear just as creators create the music they need to create.

8. R.P.: Describe the creative process that led to the works on the CD?

Eve Egoyan: Toronto based Canadian composer Martin Arnold shared Hildegard Kleeb’s recording of Maria’s En Amor Duro with me. I was intrigued and captivated so I got in touch with Maria directly. She sent a HUGE paper score by mail - a thick, wide stack - the complete diptych. I was surprised. I didn’t know what the score looked like or that the work was in two halves!!!
9. R.P.: Where are you right now as a pianist?

Eve Egoyan: I am preparing the premiere of SOLO FOR DUET for the Luminato Festival in June. I conceived of SOLO FOR DUET as a deeply integrated virtuosic mix of sound, image, and unspoken narrative which challenges traditional conceptions of piano and pianist. It incorporates six works including a work I have created for myself. This new work delves into the space between “what a piano can do” and “what I wish a piano could do”, a conversation between the real piano and my dreams of going beyond its limits.
10. R.P.: How do you see the contemporary music scene today? 

Eve Egoyan: There are many rich levels in the contemporary music scene today encompassing contemporary concert music, multimedia explorations, expansive uses of technology, and the continuing composer / improviser scene. I am excited to be part of its ever-evolving landscape.

Photo of Eve Egoyan by Sam Barnes

More information on the double CD at the publisher  World Edition

More information on the composer's profile on our website  ECH-María de Alvear

More information in the profile of the publisher on our website  ECH-World Edition


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