Nothing Is Real

My NY debut is coming up in less than two weeks. I will be playing a mix of piano and toy piano pieces at the Thalia Symphony Space. The last piece on the program is Alvin Lucier’s “Nothing Is Real” for piano, teapot and miniature sound system. The pianist plays and records melodic fragments from The Beatles’ song, “Strawberry Fields Forever” on stage and then plays back his/her own recording of it on a miniature speaker glued to the inside of a teapot. Lucier has notated/choreographed the raising and lowering of the teapot lid to expose different overtones. It also creates a kind of “wah” pedal effect.

Rob and I spent an entire day this weekend soldering and unsoldering a bunch of miniature speakers that could fit inside of a teapot. Miniature speakers are everywhereold cassette walkmans, computer speakers, projectors… we even took a speaker from one of those greeting cards that plays music when you open it. We also got several teapots. At last, we settled on an old Chinese ceramic teapot I got from Taiwan awhile ago. The material of the teapot changes the sound of the playback recording because the inside of the teapot becomes the environment and resonating chamber. I am looking forward to performing it next week!