Only the Shadow Nose

On May 23rd, at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 21C Music Festival in Toronto, Gonzales, accompanied by the Madawaska Quartet & Ensemble, premiered his “Suite from The Shadow”, which was called “dynamic and invigorating” by NOW Magazine. As Gonzales explained to a CBC interviewer, the longer work is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s adult fairy tale “The Shadow”, which Gonzales was intrigued by:

I was attracted by its nuanced handling of the age-old duality theme. The tale gets beyond the Faustian bargain into themes of charisma, charlatanism and the unleashed id. Continue reading

Watch out, Wolfgang!

When I witnessed Cameron Carpenter mastering his International Touring Organ and making this incredible machine come alive in Zurich last Sunday night, I instantly had Chilly Gonzales’ words in mind, when he called The BBC Symphony Orchestra he played with in London 2012 “the world’s most expensive synthesizer”. It was apparently another fulfilled longing to have one of those “synthesizers” all to himself. Carpenter’s digital organ might be even more expensive, the inner urge to create such an instrument, find sponsors and then actually use it, is the same. The obvious connection between the two musicians – apart from their dedication to key instruments – as Chilly Gonzales would put it: They are men of their (and our) time. They have a vision – the vision to take music to the next level. To keep the roots, but cut the weed. To not see music as something written in stone, but something versatile, adaptable and re-inventable as well as re-interpretative.So in an ideal world, these two should work together and as we sometimes like to daydream at SoloGonzales, we already have an idea how: with harpsichordist Christopher Lewis on board in a concert dedicated to “The Evolution of the Keys”. Continue reading