piano and cello


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i have played the piano since my father took me on his lap. he played by ear. his fingers felt the keys as if they were alive. inspired by him, i started a journey of discovery that lasts until this day.

all the pieces on this album started as piano improvisations, recorded at once on piano or on electronic keyboard. mostly they were intended to stand on their own. but i could not resist taking up the cello to sing along with them, hence this album

some have a story behind them, like track 5 and 6: impressions on what i once felt beholding a certain young woman for the first time.. and track 12 which is the third part of a soundtrack created for a dance piece, called "reconnection." others got their descriptve titles after they happened, like tracks 1, 15 and 18.

others are experiments, like tracks 7 and 8, while 2, 10, 13 and 14 stem from dedicated recordings with a certain theme.

they all came about over the past six years, starting with my favourite track, the last one. this is an extract from my first CD recording ever, made at the SABC M1 studio in 1998. i was fortunate enough to play on a concert grand of note and have not ever since recorded on such a good instrument. the extract was a happy coincidence of flow, expression, form and harmonic depth, a happy highlight for me.

all the cello was added some recent night, somewhere at somebody's house, somewhere in the Cape. took a couple of hours..


the HA!Man
April 2006

track nr Title description Duration
01 jy is nog mooi vir my A deeply touching piece with florid lines in the piano part with cello weaving into the harmonies with its own lyrical intimacy. This can be interpreted as a full-blooded expression of love in all its passionate pulsations! The main melody will linger in the heart's mind long after the music has stopped. Waves of feeling takes over the music and pulls you with. No stopping! 04:40
02 dressing up You find yourself in the midst of a talking crowd. You try to find meaning in all the fragmentary conversations, but do not succeed. Your attention is drawn by the piano sounds from a darkly-lit corner on the other side of the room. It draws you like a moth to a flame. It's so much easier to follow the gentle inflections of the piano. You can dream, be silent and just listen. 4:54
03 piano simple walk A gentle waltzy walk between cello and piano. At times sweet and sentimental and then again full of dancing life. Almost gives way to schmaltziness; strongly reined in by the piano's strong rhythmic back-bone. 3:06
04 piano spanish waltz that strange energy that comes from sad and lively music. Mediterranean style. the piano rushes waltzingly towards a bashing end / AFR Mediterreense-styl klavier jaag al walsend tot by 'n donderende?? bruisende?? borrelende einde
05 when i saw you for the first time 1 A poignant expression maybe of love, maybe of longing, maybe of loss, maybe of regret. Gentle, fluid cello playing over a simple, beautiful piano cantabile. 01:35
05 laure pieces   01:37
06 when i saw you for the first time 2 A moving flow of cello and piano lines intertwining delicately. Moments of "bitter-sweet", almost atonal moments. But never losing the inherent beauty of the overall sound of human emotion. 01:58
07 Atonal four a simple motive leads the cello on, stays drifting but with anticipation 1:49
08 Atonal six an angry dialogue between two simple motives come and go in this driving, disharmonious bravura piece 2:12
10 hop hop Music for a Harlequinade. The repetitive accompaniment has a msichievous lilt to it - gives a playful circus-feel to the music. Merry-go-round dizziness! 2:49
11 when i saw you for the first time 3 A "stronger" expression than the previous 2 in the "when i saw you for the first time"-cycle. Louder and fuller playing from both the cello and piano. The irregular metre of the music lends it a quaint off-balance feel - maybe a slight drunken feel of infatuation. 01:33
12 Reconnection From the soundtrack for a contemporary one-woman dance piece "The day I got my body back". The passion that infuses the phrases is stirring to the inner-most fibre of the body. Thus the spirit and the body eventually reconnects and form a harmonious whole. 4:21
13 Chinsimple A minimalistc piece - quiet movement in all 3 featuring instruments. A slow gracious dance for an ascete. From soundtrack for Acty Tang's solo debut 2:42
14 silent corner The sustained accompaniment gives this piece a sense of restfulness. A delicate melody doubled by itself in thirds is of an ethereal kind. Toward the middle, the piece builds to a climax from where the harmonies are fuller and more resonantly employed. The piece ends in the quiet state it had begun in. 3:16
15 song before sleep simple chords with an african ring drift along the piano. almost a-rhythmical, it puts one to rest like a soft breeze. 3:05
16 Tango 2 A jazzy up-beat tango reaching heights of passion so true to the character of this dance. 3:07
17 slow bach   01:58
18 evening song A gentle expression of peace and beauty at the fall of night and the settling down of worked-up heart-beats. Simply blissful... 01:34
19 Gulf A piano piece that engulfs a whole range of emotions. The piece starts with a lone-standing melody, which is later joined by hesitant chords. Halfway through, the music becomes a sweeping, indulging statement of all that is passionate and beautiful. (FROM first ever recording "Ek Praat Klavier) 4:28