- Featured: Robert Muir Duncan
- Release Date: 3/10/2009
I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and remember as a five year old wanting to play the piano. My parents thought it prudent to wait until I was twelve fearing I might give up if I started too early. After my first few lessons I wrote my first tune and wrote a short piano piece at age fifteen. At age twenty I attended York University in Toronto in the 1980's for five years, graduating with a B.A. Honours in music and completed my fourth year piano recital. It was fortunate at the time to have studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music at age twenty two with pianist Boris Zarankin, the greatest musical influence of my life. He invited me for two six week summers to the Johanneson International School of the Arts, then in Victoria B.C., where I was exposed to many great teachers, such as the great cellist Harvey Shapiro from Julliard who held open master classes. When visiting my grandparents in Coburg, Ontario, I would listen to a classical musical radio station CFMX for hours while I did my University homework. This wonderful station moved from Coburg to Toronto and can be found on the internet. At the age of twenty eight, I began to compose seriously. I enjoy music from classical Indian to Western classical. I also keep up my musical inner ear by singing through composers such as J.S. Bach while playing the second or more voices on the piano. It can be done slowly and helps with listening and appreciating more all types of music. One can focus more easily to the voicing and textures in music. When I was twenty two, I felt ready to hear some current classical music and went to the library and got a record of a composer I had never heard of. The first listening I was not sure but felt I heard something of significance. Then I soon fell in love with it and over the next few years would listen to it over and over. That recording was the debut live recording of the Fifteenth Symphony of Shostakovitch, conducted by his son Maxim. He has had a tremendous influence on my life. A very good book about him is by Elizabeth Wilson who also wrote a recent book about cellist Rostropovitch. Glenn Gould also continues to be an influence through his many recordings and writings as well as the many good books about him. The length of this CD is over 70 minutes. My compositions were written mainly at the piano, and then synthesizers used, digital as well as analog and my nice tube amplifier, to warm up the sound. Much effort was done to achieve a transparent mixing of musical lines for ease and enjoyment of listening. Also, I chose the mixing of traditional and electronic sounds to be most pleasing to the ear. Friends ask me when my second CD will be ready and I am currently working on it. Serious classical music lovers enjoy this CD very much. My mother loves music and often plays this CD. She also listens to it in the car. It is a CD which can be heard many times with sustained interest and enjoyment.
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