Lubomyr Melynk is disarming, with post-minimalist pieces that draw you in like a moth to the flame. Did we mention he’s the fastest pianist in the world? Seeing his music is an experience no classical fan should miss. Scratch that. It’s an experience no music fan should miss.
There was a palpable sense of excitement last Thursday, with a diverse crowd spanning typical Stars of the Lid-esque fans to the more intellectual aficionados.
It’s been almost a year since Lubomyr last played at creative home Cafe Oto in London, and his long, drawn-out pieces and no-frills approach to live performance had the entire audience in constant rapture. The energy Lubomyr delivers is like cake – he provides a complexity so rich to his arrangements that they become incredibly thick, and yet still oddly delicate upon consumption.
Lubomyr’s one of the main composers of continuous music, a language which exists “when the harmony becomes involved with the sound of the instrument.” It’s basically an unbroken line of sound directly from the piano, a constant flow of notes coming straight at you. No one can perform it like Lubomyr can; he mastered it. His hands move fluidly across keys as if he was barely tapping them, just grazing the tops, but somehow still tracing out what a friend referred to as a subtle melody.
Lubomyr told us a story about an old windmill with birds living in it, and how his last piece was inspired by the imagery of that story. He explained how you can hear the sheer energy of the moving motors, the electricity of sounds when things move and happen. It was a tale of a windmill’s heart, its life on Earth. I found it telling, because Lubomyr seems to infuse a sense of metaphor and imagery into all his work. His output is a tale of his own life, controlled chaos that becomes general soundscape you can spend hours just listening to and not realizing time has moved.
After almost forty years in poverty and without the recognition he merited, Lubomyr now has the stage he deserves to share his unique piano technique. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Erased Tapes only puts out excellent music. I’m really glad they’ve decided to share Lubomyr’s work, and hope they continue to produce more albums of this sort.
His full length debut, Corollaries, will come out in April. Check out the trailer on Vimeo.