October 13, 2009

Breaking News: Man plays both piano parts for Steve Reich's "Piano Phase"

Miss Shani sent me this video today of pianist Peter Aidu exhibiting what he can do with his amazing brain. It makes me think of composer Robert Schumann, who had to give up the career of budding piano virtuoso because of a mysterious finger injury - he rigged up a mechanical device (pictured to the left) to separate his pinkie finger from his ring finger (you know how you can't lower your pinkie without some movement from the ring?) to increase fingering possibilities, & ended up damaging his hand permanently. (The other theory is that it was a syphilis symptom). Anyway, Steve Reich's early minimalist classic "Piano Phase" is an experiment with the same pattern played on two instruments coming in & out of phase. How Mr Aidu is able to separate his brain & phase with himself I chalk up to either some sort of mechanical device or perhaps a symptom of syphilis.

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