This show presents two thematically-related large scale pieces representing composer/guitarist Brendon Randall-Myers’s work with instrumental rock band Marateck, and with pianist Miki Sawada and director Daniel Pettrow. The new set of Marateck music arises from the tension between mechanistic vs. humanistic. It was inspired by machines, written using machines, and with the knowledge that machines would execute it better than they can. The group takes on the task of performing it as four very fallible humans not as a show of musical prowess so much as an act of willful stubbornness in the face of an impossible task. Randall-Myers’s music for pianist Miki Sawada inverts this antagonistic relationship between mechanical and human, drawing on Sawada’s superhuman playing and endurance to create piano music that feels electronic, and blending in electronic sounds and processing to support and expand the sound of the piano. Theatrical prompts accompany each section of the piece as a way to connect performer, composer, and audience.
Machines and Mirrors features the world premiere of a completely new set of music by Marateck, and two world premieres for Sawada alongside reworked versions of two older pieces developed as part of Sawada’s Fall 2018 Gather Hear Tour. Both projects are the results of close collaborations over several years of work together.