Composers: Andrián Pertout
Compositions: Luz Meridional
Performers: Michael Kieran Harvey p
Catalogue Number: MOVE MD3435 (2CD)
Andrián Pertout (b. 1963) was born in Santiago, Chile and has lived in Melbourne since 1972. His Luz Meridional (Southern Light) is a set of 24 études for piano dedicated to American composer Henry Cowell (1897-1965), whose mathematical theories regarding pitch and tempo ratios are central to these compositions.
Commissioned by barrister, human rights activist and arts patron Julian Burnside as part of a 2009 State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowship that enabled Pertout to make use of the Library’s extensive archival holdings, each individual étude is an homage to an Australian composer and incorporates quotations and re-workings of motifs from their works. Composers include Peggy Glanville-Hicks, John Antill, Keith Humble, Miriam Hyde and Margaret Sutherland among many others. A particular highlight is the Alfred Hill dedication Retrospectivo, a mesmerising cascade of rippling arpeggiations.
The works are fiercely virtuosic and employ extended techniques including muting, plucking and strumming of the piano strings. Luz Meridional was written for Michael Kieran Harvey, a pianist renowned both for his technical prowess and eagerness to embrace exploratory new works. Recorded live in the fabulous acoustic surrounds of the Melbourne Recital Centre Salon, this package also includes a DVD containing a film about the genesis of Luz Meridional and footage of Harvey performing seven of the études.