Composer Randy Woolf and his wife pianist Kathleen Supove have made many interesting collaborative efforts together, but this one will probably be very hard to beat. They have been working on Battery, a concerto for piano and orchestra–a different kind of piano concerto that involves choreographed boxing. Sounds crazy in print, but if you take a look at what Kathleen does in the video link below, you’ll see she’s up for the boxing aspect of the task as well as the piano one.
The premiere of Battery will take place Feb 23, 2014, and the folks that are working with Randy and Kathy are choreographer Heidi Latsky and ensemble Le Train Bleu, with conductor Ransom Wilson. The funds of the campaign will be going to them.
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Randy and Kathy had a minute to talk to us about it.
CM: Interesting idea for a concerto–Have you always had the kickboxing idea in mind for this piece?
Randy: Yes, I have been wanting to write this for a long time. I think Kathy makes clear in her concerts that a performer’s movement can really add to the presentation of a piece. And I knew she can do a lot of movement that most of us cannot! I do realize Kathy may be the only one ever to play it…it is fun to imagine various other pianists doing their version.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: I wish Van Cliburn lived long enough to render his performance]
CM: Kathy, how long have you trained in kickboxing? I certainly would not want to make you come after me for any reason!
Kathleen: I’ve been taking classes for at least 6-7 years. I had ballet as a kid, so movement like that comes to me. No worries about me knocking you out Chris. I know how to do all the moves (jab, cross, hook, upper cut, front kick, back kick, sidekick, roundhouse, jumps), but actually hitting/kicking a target…well, I’ve done it with my legs, but I always worry more about my hands—hitting a person is more unpredictable that “beating up a piano”!! I know pianos better!
CM: Do you think there will be further pieces with athletics after this? This kind of thing always seems to start a trend.
Randy: Chris, I never even considered that someone else might as foolish as I was!