It's been more than three years since the Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler launched Between the Keys. Having written, produced and hosted more than 160 episodes to date, how does he keep the show fresh?
"I think the topic of this week's episode answers this question," Distler says. "I Inheritedthe habit of discovery at an early age from my late mother, who was a poet and teacher. She's constantly find books or records at the library, at school sales, at flea markets maybe. I never went out of my way to look for music, but I constantly stumbled upon recordings, books and sheet music in similar ways. These discoveries, of course, lead me into doing further investigation or research. Wasn't it Picasso who famously claimed 'I do not seek, I find?' I feel the same way about my music making, and about putting each week's Between the Keys playlist together. Randomness and pure chance play a strong part, yet the next step is to take these recent musical discoveries of mine and find out how to best shape them into a satisfying hour of radio!."
Distler is particularly enthusiastic about this week's episode, "The Joy of Discovery." "I was totally blown away by a recent recording with Pavel Kolesnikov playing harpsichord music by Louis Couperin on the piano. He makes it sound so modern. Likewise, I found an untitled sound file on my computer containing an old recording of the Chopin Op. 37 No. 2 Nocturne."
"After doing some detective work, I realized that the performance had never been reissued, it's a 1933 recording by Mark Hambourg (1879-1960), who was a fascinating yet uneven pianist. Sometimes he'd plow through music with total disdain for accuracy, like a bull in a china shop. But then again he could be spontaneous and unfettered yet still control his fingers. I'm also going to also feature an extraordinary and substantial piano composition called Pianismus, composed by Diane Thome in 1983. I had never heard of this composer, nor this piece until recently. And I've been getting into Cliff Jackson, an almost-unknown virtuoso who came up in the heyday of Harlem Stride Piano. Jackson made few recordings, yet his 1944 solo sides are classics, such as his great version of 'Limehouse Blues' that you'll hear this hour."
Listen to the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys with Jed Distler on WWFM.org The Classical Network, this Tuesday July 31st at 10 PM.