Karis and Freitas Play Stockhausen

Aleck Karis was one of the top pianists in New York for new music when I lived there in the ’80s, and I was fortunate enough to hear Aleck play my music on several occasions. I wrote Secret Geometry for piano and electronic sound for him (that’s where the name of this blog comes from), and he subsequently recorded that piece. He also played and recorded my Icons for clarinet, piano and electronic sound. Aleck has been at UC San Diego for many years now. I had hoped to include Aleck as part of the consortium of pianists who are to perform my Pure Contraption, Absolute Gift, but we couldn’t work out the details; he still might play the piece at some point, but it will be outside the framework of the consortium. Aleck is a quietly spectacular player, with a wide-ranging repertoire; his large discography includes Glass, Carter, Cage, Reynolds, Feldman, and Davidovsky, as well as Chopin and Mozart, among dozens of other composers.

Here is a video of Aleck with Kian Freitas performing one of Stockhausen’s most enduring pieces, Mantra for two ring-modulated pianos.