Published: 20/02/2014 16:50 - Updated: 13/02/2014 17:02

Doubling up at Eden Court with PianoPiano

Written byVideo

Hilary Brooks and Karen MacIver present PianoPiano.
Hilary Brooks and Karen MacIver present PianoPiano.

PIANOPIANO is not your typical piano recital.

For a start, there are two pianos, not just one.

For another, the music played by Hilary Brooks and Karen MacIver, two of Scotland’s busiest composers for theatre and screen is all original, and designed to bring out the best from two grand pianos playing in harmony.

"The majority of work in the known repertoire is rarely with the sound of these two great instruments and their overtones in mind," Brooks explained.

"We decided that we were well good enough as composers to generate brand new music specifically conceived for two pianos."

The pieces from the show and the duo’s debut album Dedicated are all based on iconic women from throughout history.

The inspiration for the theme came from an untitled piece whose soaring notes suggested flight — which in turn suggested female aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

"From that we started experimenting with the piano and coming up with different names," MacIver said.

"If she was Russian, how would the music sound? Each piece is designed to capture the spirit of the woman or the event that made them famous.

"Before we play, we talk to the audience about these women. It gives the audience something to hang onto when they are listening to our tunes. The moment you have something like a soundtrack to follow with these little cues, people can really go along with it."

Other inspiring women referenced in the concert include Marie Curie, a touch of old style Hollywood glamour from Cyd Charisse and Katharine Hepburn, and Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space and more recently seen as a flag-carrier at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

However, MacIver agreed that the audience had to place a degree of trust in the performers to come along to a programme of unknown music.

"It’s not Debussy or Purcell they are hearing, but we have got to try and push music forward," MacIver declared.

"And once they come in, we do hope they might come back!"

• PianoPiano is at the OneTouch Theatre, Eden Court, on Sunday 23rd February.

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