VC Artist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Jun Cho recently released the first movement of pianist and composer Conrad Tao's "All I Had Forgotten, Or Tried To."
"I’ve long admired Conrad’s expressive creativity, his probing mind, and his spirit of thoughtful investigation," Jackiw told The Violin Channel. "Conrad’s music is darkly expressive, gorgeously lyrical, and at times shatteringly powerful. It’s been such a treat to learn his music while in dialogue with him and to have a window into his creative process."
When learning the piece, which is full of extended techniques for the piano, Cho described working with a living composer as "the same creative process applied to any other music from the past: we try to understand the essence and the expression of what the piece is trying to say, and we bring ourselves as close as possible to connect with it."
The title of Tao's piece, "All I Had Forgotten, Or Tried To," comes from the love story entitled "Dietmar Lutz Mon Amour" in Kevin Killian's book Impossible Princess. A passage that inspired the music reads, "Dietmar was super-clairvoyant. When he went out in the street, he would soak everything up until he was ready to faint." The narrator felt connected to Dietmar, as "he saw or felt all I had forgotten or tried to."
VC ARTIST STEFAN JACKIW & JUN CHO | CONRAD TAO | "ALL I HAD FORGOTTEN, OR TRIED TO" | 2022
This is far from the first time Tao and Jackiw have collaborated. Tao recently wrote a new violin concerto for Jackiw — the latter of whom describes it as being "one of the highlights of my musical life." The concerto received its premiere with the Atlanta Symphony Hall this past September. It will be performed again with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this coming April.