Composer David Lang was right when he said to pianist Sarah Cahill, “You should be playing Mamoru’s work.” Lang was speaking of the work of composer Mamoru Fujieda who, “in a world that rewards virtuosity and showmanship, chooses to write music of simplicity and delicacy,” as Cahill so justly notes.
I’ve admired Cahill’s elegant pianism for some time now. Her playing reminds me of no one so much as Marian McPartland. Like McPartland, Cahill never gets in the way, but allows the music to speak directly through her fingers on the keys. Though I knew little about Fujieda’s work, when I learned that Cahill had a new CD out, I was primed take heed.
The pieces included in Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants are literally derived from the sounds of plants: the raw materials of the compositions are comprised of “electrical fluctuations on the surface of the leaves of plants . . . converted . . . into sound . . .”. I am ordinarily a skeptic when it comes to this sort of thing, but when Cahill opened the door with her graceful performance, I happily walked in.
Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants, the Sixteenth Collection – Pattern A (Sarah Cahill, piano)