Friday 24 July 2020

A reverberation of those years spent alone in my studio: Kemal Yusuf's The Key-Crack Chronicles

Kemal Yusuf
Kemal Yusuf
We first covered the work of composer Kemal Yusuf (British of Turkish descent) back in 2017 when Tony wrote about the premiere of Yusuf's first work for string quartet, performed by the Carducci Quartet at the Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music Festival [see Tony's review]. A year before that, after completing a major orchestra commission, Kemal decided to strip things down and started improvising at the piano, and recording the improvisations. He now has around 700 of these recordings!

Kemal has produced a new album, Key-Crack Chronicles, which he describes as 'taking inspiration from the sonority of those many, many tracks. This album is a reverberation of those years spent alone in my studio. An echo of years of improvised playing. The album takes its' name from the wear and tear of my piano over the years. The keys are cracked, the strings all loose and the stool is sinking. This was not a gentle experience'. He is planning an album tour, which will be similarly improvised.

A track from the album, Bother my soul is now on Spotify, and on Soundcloud (below):

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