Barbara Pritchard Presents The Art of Touching the Keyboard (“Look, Ma, No Hands!”)

Sunday, September 14, 2014
Event Title: Barbara Pritchard Presents The Art of Touching the Keyboard (“Look, Ma, No Hands!”)
Description:

MEDIA RELEASE
August 21, 2014

Barbara Pritchard Presents The Art of Touching the Keyboard (“Look, Ma, No Hands!”) at Dalhousie University’s MacAloney Room

(Halifax, NS) Halifax pianist and musical innovator Barbara Pritchard ventures into the fascinating world of gesture tracking and interactive digital technology at the MacAloney Room, Dalhousie Arts Centre on Sunday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. Join Barbara and Dr. Keith Hamel (UBC Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC)) for a performance of Keith’s Touch,for piano, webcam and electronics. Barbara will extend her classical piano technique by using choreographed gestures mid-air to affect the electronic processing of the music. Inspired by the idea of making music without touching the instrument, she has assembled a program of works exploring the various ways of touching (or not!) the keyboard. Tickets for The Art of Touching the Keyboard (Look, Ma, No Hands!) are available at the door at $20 regular and $10 for students and seniors.

Spanning works composed over almost 300 years, the program will include a selection of preludes from François Couperin’s L’Art de Toucher le Clavecin (1716); John Cage: 4’33” (1952), one of the more controversial works of the 20th century; Barbara Pentland: Toccata (1958), a modern take on the toccatas of Baroque composer Girolamo Frescobaldi; Howard Bashaw: Tocatella from Preludes Book II (1997), many, many notes in a short time; Keith Hamel: Touch (2013), apart from the intriguing technological aspects, a beautiful exploration of bell sounds; Robert Bauer: Hot Toccatas (2014), a spicy first performance; and Jackson Fairfax-Perry: Wacka-Wacka (2014), another first performance and a tribute to 1970’s funk music, includes the use of a wah pedal (commissioned with the support of Arts Nova Scotia).

Barbara Pritchard studied music at the University of British Columbia with Robert Rogers, Ljungskile Folkhögskola, Sweden, the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Eastman School of Music (with David Burge). She enjoys playing a wide range of repertoire, but specializes in performing music from the 20th and 21st centuries. While living in Toronto (1988-96), she was a member of the Arraymusic and Continuum ensembles, and often played with New Music Concerts and other new music organizations in the city. For several years she was a faculty member in the Banff Centre’s New Music Summer Residency program, travelling to Sweden twice to give solo recitals. She also continued private studies with David Burge in Rochester, NY, with the help of a Chalmers Fund grant.

Since moving to Halifax, Miss Pritchard has established herself as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and concert presenter, giving many solo recitals with the help of grants from the Canada Council and the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. As well, she has appeared in solo and chamber music performances for many other recital series in Atlantic Canada. Miss Pritchard’s performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio’s In Performance, Two New Hours and The Signal. She has also been heard on Swedish Radio.

Barbara has returned to Toronto several times for performances of new music, most recently in November 2012 for the CMC recital launch of her third solo CD, Toccata. Her next solo recital there, in January 2015, will be a co-production of Music Toronto and New Music Concerts.

In 2009 the Canadian Music Centre awarded Miss Pritchard the title of CMC Ambassador, a designation given to fifty outstanding performers and conductors for their commitment to the performance of Canadian music. She has given first performances of many works, several of which were commissioned through the Canada Council and the CBC. In 2011 she became a founding member of Musikon, a recital series of new Canadian music, based at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery in Halifax.

Miss Pritchard’s three solo recordings (released through Centrediscs) reflect her commitment to new Canadian music. The first, The View From Here, (works by Barbara Monk Feldman, Anthony Genge, Peter Hatch, John Rea, James Rolfe and Linda Smith) was released in 1998 and the second,Piano Atlantica, (works by Jérôme Blais, Ian Crutchley, Anthony Genge, Richard Gibson and Clark Ross) in 2010, both to critical acclaim. The final track from Piano Atlantica, Clark Ross’s “Last Dance”, was nominated for a 2011 Juno Award: Classical Composition of the Year. Her latest solo CD, Toccata, was released in November 2012 as part of a Canada-wide celebration of the music of Barbara Pentland. Toccata was nominated for a 2014 East Coast Music Award: Classical Recording of the Year.

Barbara Pritchard has been a jury member for the Juno Awards, the Chalmers Awards (Ontario Arts Council), and the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage (now Arts Nova Scotia). She is a member of the Canadian New Music Centre’s Atlantic Regional Council, the Canadian New Music Network and the Canadian Federation of Musicians.

Barbara Pritchard lives in Halifax with one husband, two daughters, and a couple of cats. She would like to thank Dalhousie University (Fountain School of the Performing Arts) for their support of this presentation. Visit http://barbarapritchard.weebly.com/ for more information.

Barbara Pritchard acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.
Barbara Pritchard recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage. She is pleased to work in partnership with the Culture Division to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.
“...One of our finest interpreters of contemporary keyboard music...”
- William Littler (The Toronto Star)
“...Astonishing...”
- Stephen Pedersen (The Halifax Chronicle-Herald)

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Halifax pianist Barbara Pritchard will present a solo piano recital, The Art of Touching the Keyboard (Look, Ma, No Hands!) at the MacAloney Room 406, Dalhousie Arts Centre on Sunday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door at $20 regular and $10 for students and seniors. This concert ventures into the fascinating world of gesture tracking and interactive digital technology with the piano. Barbara Pritchard will extend her classical piano technique by using choreographed gestures mid-air to affect the electronic processing of the music. Inspired by the idea of making music without touching the instrument, the pianist has assembled a program of works exploring the various ways of touching (or not!) the keyboard. That's The Art of Touching the Keyboard (Look, Ma, No Hands!), at the Dalhousie Arts Centre’s MacAloney Room on Sunday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. Visit http://barbarapritchard.weebly.com/ for more information.

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For more information, recordings, a photo of Miss Pritchard, or to book an interview, please contact:

Peggy Walt, Cultural Affairs Consulting & Promotion
Telephone: (902) 422-5403, Cell (902) 476-1096. E-mail: peggy@culturalaffairs.ca

Links:

Barbara’s web page:
http://barbarapritchard.weebly.com/

Centredisc page for Toccata:
http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/69157

Music TORONTO web page for upcoming January recital at the Saint Lawrence Centre:
http://music-toronto.com/piano/Barbara_Prichard.htm

MAGIC web page:
http://www.magic.ubc.ca/pmwiki.php?n=Projects.Projects