About the piece:
I was given the incredible privilege of studying piano with Edmund Battersby (aka Teacher) for two years. In that short time, he taught me how to be a musician: how to play like one and how to think like one. I left every single lesson completely overwhelmed with knowledge:
“Listen closely because you won’t be able to find this in any book.”
He said this at least once per lesson, whether it referred to his quirky and extremely effective version of phrasing, dynamics, fingering, voicing, or pretty much anything for that matter. He knew that he knew a lot but loved to share his knowledge.
About a month before Teacher passed away, he gave me a book written by Paul Hindemith entitled A Composer’s World. I asked Teacher to sign the book, but he refused. He told me that he values memory and that I don’t need a signature to remember this moment. Of course he was right.
One concept in specific from this book stuck out to me and inspired the creation of this composition:
Music is all tension and release.
That phrase dictated the harmony, rhythm, and form of the work. In Kaleidoscope I aimed to capture the beauty of Edmund Battersby’s life and the inquisitive and inspiring aura of his presence. You will be missed, Teacher. Thank you for your artistry and your passion.
April 19, 2016 (PREMIERE)
Auer Hall at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music
Piano: Alex Berko
Recorded by: Bruce Gigax
Score and parts available for purchase. Please contact Alex for inquiries.