Lars Graugaard: Venus
11 November 2015
"The power-loss in Venus is aurally fascinating and neatly scored; the geometric patterning of Layers of Earth has a certain delicacy; Three Places underlines Graugaard’s keen ear for instrumental sonority. Book of Throws takes the concept further, including a fully improvised solo piano part played against a notated score that the pianist isn’t to have seen or heard previously. It’s reactive and organic to an extent, but a certain stasis creeps in too; here and elsewhere, those ‘emotions’ can feel contained, missing rawness and spontaneity even in improvisation. Impressive performances from talented New York students and their dedicated professors; but I do wonder how differently I’d have reacted had I not known of the science behind the scores."