Literary and musical worlds collide for a one-off performance from Myra Melford and Jonathan Franzen. Pianist Myra Melford performs Life Carries Me This Way, a suite of pieces for solo piano inspired by or in dialogue with 11 drawings by the late Sacramento-based artist, Don Reich, interspersed with readings from American author Jonathan Franzen.
Drawing on the idea of responding to or having a dialogue with another genre of art, Melford will combine her interest in sound with her love of lyricism, melody, harmony, rhythm, song-form, and various styles of music from around the world. Don Reich’s artwork and the spaces it inspires prove to be a satisfying way of bringing these two worlds together.
Chicago-born classically trained pianist Myra Melford is a composer with a singular, kinetic, and lyrical voice in piano improvisation. Inspired by Chicago blues, architecture, jazz and experimental music, she has released over 40 recordings and maintains three bands: the celebrated quintet Snowy Egret, the collective Trio M, and the duo Dialogue with clarinetist Ben Goldberg. She was a Guggenheim Fellow and Doris Duke Performing Artist in 2013 and has been honored numerous times in DownBeat Critic’s polls. The former Artist Director and co-curator of the New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA in San Francisco, Melford is currently a professor of music at University of California, Berkeley.
American novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen is the author of Purity and four other novels, most recently The Corrections and Freedom, and five works of nonfiction and translation, including Farther Away and The Kraus Project. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the German Akademie der Künste, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Franzen is the recipient of the National Book Award, Salon Book Award, and James Tait Black Memorial Prize.