“The goal of the pianist is to bring life to the piano. And the piano has been waiting all its life long for someone to come and bring it life, bring it light. Let it sing, even for a few moments."
Lubomyr Melnyk is a composer and pianist of Ukrainian origin. He plays what he calls continuous music, a style whose rigorous technique shares commonality with martial arts. He's regarded as the world’s fastest piano player, capable of playing 19 and a half notes per second. It’s a skill that’s enabled him to create singular musical landscapes, where sound appears to come in swathes rather than individual notes. He’s been at it for more than sixty years and despite his superlative skill and beautiful compositions, he hasn't gotten much attention until very recently. He and I chatted about the three communities that have most informed his approach to music -- the classical music world, the dance world, and the hippie movement — and the happiness that stems from people finally starting to appreciate his astonishing art.
Listen on SoundCloud below or on Spotify here.
Music in this episode, used with permission from Lubomyr:
"Parasol" — Lubomyr Melnyk
"Ascension - Korg, Part 1" — Lubomyr Melnyk
"Nightrail from the Sun" — Lubomyr Melnyk
"II" (from KMH) — Lubomyr Melnyk
"Ascension - Korg, Finale" — Lubomyr Melnyk
"The Voice of Trees (Part 1) — Lubomyr Melnyk
"Pockets of Light" — Lubomyr Melnyk
Special thanks to Alexander Frieden and Grace Rubin for the editing support!
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