On her debut Navona Records album, JOHN CAGE: SONATAS AND INTERLUDES / IN A LANDSCAPE, pianist Kate Boyd performs two pieces by John Cage (1912-1992) that exemplify his range of compositional intuition and invention.
Sonatas and Interludes, one of Cage’s most substantial works, makes use of prepared piano, a concept created by Cage. Boyd says of the significance of Sonatas and Interludes, “This work bookends the piano as we know it today, grounding itself in a time before its inception and yet looking ahead to the creation of a new instrument and sound aesthetic.” A marriage of Baroque form and contemporary techniques as well as of Eastern philosophy and Western musical styles, this work is unique for performers since every performance varies due to the preparation of each instrument. While Sonatas and Interludes augments the piano’s sound, In a Landscape seeks to limit it. Influenced by Erik Satie, Cage’s latter work predates yet anticipates minimalism with its light, ethereal, and recurring themes. These two works showcase Boyd’s scope of technique, emotion, and dexterity on the piano.
Boyd holds performance degrees from Stony Brook University, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Hannover Academy of Music in Germany; her major teachers were Gilbert Kalish, Arie Vardi, and Arbo Valdma. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano at Butler University in Indianapolis IN.