The Etudes Project, Volume One: Iceberg is a new DSD release from pianist Jenny Lin on the Sono Luminus label. Commissioned by pianist Jenny Lin, the album features ten études that were written by the composer members of Iceberg New Music as the inaugural collection of Ms. Lin's Études Project:
Jenny Lin says “I have always been fascinated by the intricate history of piano études, and how throughout written music it has continued to be one of the most important genres in keyboard literature. How did we get from Bach’s Clavier-Übung to Philip Glass’s Piano Etudes? And where is the form going now? I hope to explore these questions through The Etudes Project."
Rather than provide a specific étude prompt for each member of ICEBERG, Lin gave them free rein to challenge her technique. Then, after the pieces were written, she paired each new work with an existing “partner” étude from the Western canon (including works by Messiaen, Glass, Ligeti, Unsuk Chin, Debussy, Ruth Crawford Seeger, and others) with which she, and each composer, found a kindred musical relationship.
ICEBERG New Music’s Alex Burtzos explains: “Jenny and the ICEBERG member composers have gone back and forth for over a year about every aspect of this album - from specific technical questions about the pieces themselves to questions regarding their companion repertoire works and ordering in the finished program. What listeners will hear in the album is the result of 11 artists thinking deeply about the étude as a concept, and their personal places in the ongoing history of the genre.
In the 10 new works, the ICEBERG composers explore everything from aleatoric atmospheres to Chicago house music, forcing Jenny to demonstrate her immense virtuosity in a variety of different styles. This, we think, is a new approach to designing concerts (and albums), one that challenges artists and rewards listeners by demonstrating the depth and breadth of contemporary composition.”