13 Short Piano Pieces
Paul Maroon & Jenny Lin
Release date : November 2022
PRE-ORDER/PRE-SAVE & SHARE: Paul Maroon & Jenny Lin – 13 Short Piano Pieces
LISTEN & SHARE: Paul Maroon & Jenny Lin – “El Raval”
“‘El Raval’ spirals and climbs gorgeously across a mere 93 seconds.”
– Brooklyn Vegan
Today, storied composer Paul Maroon — best known as a member of The Walkmen — andconcert pianist Jenny Lin — a frequent Phillip Glass collaborator — have teamed up on a brand new collaborative record, 13 Short Piano Pieces (due November 11). To celebrate the announcement, the pair have shared the record’s first single, “El Raval,” named after the Barcelona neighborhood.
Speaking on the track, Paul wrote:
“‘El Raval’ is maybe the filthiest place I’ve ever lived. And I’ve lived in Philadelphia. It’s been a rough part of Barcelona for 800 years, the original leper colony right outside the medieval city walls. This piece is my reflection of it. It’s also a ton of fun and a place I miss.”
13 Short Piano Pieces was recorded at the historic Sear Sound in New York by Michael Harris (Lana Del Rey, Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend) using old techniques, old microphones, andtape machines. Whereas most contemporary piano is recorded to sound the same for the wholecollection, Michael brought a different recording approach to each piece. It was mastered by Christopher Colbert
at National Freedom.
Paul Maroon & Jenny Lin – “El Raval” [OFFICIAL AUDIO]
13 Short Piano Pieces Bio:
13 Short Piano Pieces is a collaboration between two remarkable musicians, composer Paul Maroon
and pianist Jenny Lin.
Jenny Lin is an internationally-celebrated concert pianist based in New York City. She has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Jenny has over 40 recordings on her discography. She has worked closely with Phillip Glass and also serves on the faculty of the Mannes Collegeat the New School for Music.
Paul Maroon is an American composer based in Seville, Spain. He is best known as a member of the much-loved rock group The Walkmen and for scoring the Oscar-winning documentary Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405.
Both artists have been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, the New Yorker, NPR’s Tiny Desk and many more. They attended high school together, but only met again in the last couple of years.
13 Short Piano Pieces has an ominous feeling. It is pessimistic about the world in which it was created and pessimistic about the future. The runs that begin the first piece, “Mile End,” are uneven and unbalanced. “El Raval,” named for a dirty Barcelona neighborhood, scatters notes inevery direction. “Audubon Park” should be the most beautiful part of New Orleans, but it keeps returning to something off. These pieces refl ect these places, and this moment, in a way lyrical music could not.
13 Short Piano Pieces is sometimes a bit absurd, too. “Triana” tells the story of a fi ght between alizard and a cockroach outside Paul’s storage space offi ce. “Alfama” should be “Principe Real,”where the composer actually lived in Lisbon, but Panda Bear already wrote a song about it.
13 Short Piano Pieces is also beautiful. “Rose Park” muses on the park by Paul’s house growing up. “Delancey Place,” like the Center City Philadelphia street, is warm and austere. All the pieces here are named for places where Paul has lived in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, Montreal, Lisbon, Barcelona, and Seville. Musical influences on these pieces are the piano etudes of Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg’s string quartets, as well as the playing of Ernesto Lecuona and Emahoy Tsequé-Maryam Guèbrou. The record ends with “Irish Channel,” which was written to sound like an improvised lullaby, something Jenny would play—following her ear—at the end of the day for her daughter. It moves from a dissonant beginning toan innocent descending idea. The Irish Channel in New Orleans is where Paul lived when his girls were small.
13 Short Piano Pieces was recorded at the historic Sear Sound in New York by Michael Harris (Lana Del Rey, Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend) using old techniques, old microphones, and tape machines. Whereas most contemporary piano is recorded to sound the same for the whole collection, Michael brought a different recording approach to each piece. It was mastered by Christopher Colbert at National Freedom.
Jenny was patient with Paul as learned how to write scores this complicated—a brand new process for him. Invaluable support in score preparation was given by Jerry Umlauf and Michael Delgado, both talented composers based in central Florida.
Paul would like to dedicate this record to his mother, Suzy, who fought the good fight nightly when he was a kid to keep him learning the piano. It’s been a lifelong dream of his to write a collectionlike this and dedicate it to her.
New classical music can often be a challenge for the listener because of the density of the material. Paul has shortened these pieces, so they develop, unravel, and (usually) re-assemble quickly. Each piece, he hopes, is a little gem, encouraging multiple listens and greater enjoyment.
13 Short Piano Pieces – TRACKLISTING:
01. Mile End
02. El Raval
03. Charles Village
04. Rose Park
05. Riverside Drive
08. The Plateau
09. Delancey Park
10. Audubon Park
11. Morningside Heights
12. West Philadelphia
13. The Irish Channel
13 Short Piano Pieces Credits:
Composed by Paul Maroon (Maroon Music ASCAP)
Performed by Jenny Lin
Recorded and mixed by Michael Harris at Sear Sound
Mastered by Christopher Colbert at National Freedom