New album “Hanging by a Thread”
Works by Paul Dresher, Dorothy Hindman, Andrea Mazzariello, Kristen Soriano Broberg, and Alican Çamci
performed by pianist Matthew McCright
American pianist Matthew McCright is releasing an album of new music for piano titled Hanging by a Thread, via the Proper Canary label on October 11, 2022. The album will be available for download and streaming via all major platforms. Described as an “intensely sensitive pianist with a prodigious technique” by Clavier Companion, McCright offers Hanging by a Thread as his 8th solo album release and his first solo release since 2021’s Endurance.
With a repertoire elements of post-minimalism, spectral music, post-modern, and rhythmic exploration, Hanging by a Thread is a striking collection of work married by mood and tones. It is an album of heavy heart with moments of light, and according to McCright, is “shaped by the spirit of new music: avoiding easy definition, with rich influences from the past, and a confident look to the future.”
Album opener To Spill Oneself Away dives the listener into the darkness, with evocatively repeated runs that form the aural shape of madness. This Dorothy Hindman composition uses perpetual motion to give a feeling of “being pulled in every direction, all at once”.
As Far As You Can Stretch a Web and Your Hands, As They Are, both by Andrea Mazzariello, are stately pieces that paint a great sense of nostalgia and meditative poignancy. Mazzareillo, a percussionist at heart, aims to evoke his childhood observations of his own father’s playing, as well as the work to understand his own relationship to the piano, culminating in a loss of playing ability. Throughout a section rhythmic play, McCright treats each of these works with the sensitivity and sincerity they deserve.
Paul Dresher’s Blue Diamonds is perhaps the heart of the album, with languid, reflective, dynamic passages that summon a cinematic feel during its runtime. A staple of McCright’s live repertoire for years, the piece focuses on intricate passagework, dazzling metric shifts, and fast fingers reminiscent of sparkling jewels.
Recording sessions began in 2019, though, like many artists’ works, it was paused by the pandemic. “At many points I was grasping for a lifeline”, McCright admits, “nervous that it would never be finished. But here we are, and my thoughts and emotions are uniquely tied to the pieces in a way I could not have imagined.”
To Spill Oneself Away (Dorothy Hindman – 2021)
olgun bit meyvenin sesiyle—düserken (…with the sound of a ripe fruit—falling) (Alican Çamci – 2012)
As Far As You Can Stretch a Web (Andrea Mazzariello – 2019)
Tether (or Once you lose it it’s lost)
Intermezzo (Takuma Itoh – 2010)
Echoes (Kirsten Soriano Broberg – 2010)
Your Hands, As They Are (Andrea Mazzariello – 2021)
Blue Diamonds (Paul Dresher – 1995)
For more information, please visit matthewmccright.org