Season 4 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea features a number of pianos in various states of disrepair, as well as a single, pristinely-kept Steinway grand piano. The season also features two of the country’s best pianists, Jill Richards and Kyle Shepherd. While Shepherd and Richards will engage with almost all of the pianos over the course of the Season, they will also make use of the Steinway in a spectacular double bill piano programme.
Shepherd brings his own Jazz composition. Having arrived at the Season 4 workshops with a desire to experiment beyond the realms of concert piano performance, Shepherd’s work will make use of spoken, non-musical, and other aural recordings that both exemplify and challenge his profound history of engagement with the piano.
By including recorded vocal samples of musicians such as Lionel Loueke and Zim Ngqawana, as well as ambient loops, Shepherd’s piece will be as much of a performance as it is an improvised conversation with these select sounds.
This double bill will provide audiences with some of the best piano playing in the country, while also allowing for each musician to access and engage the work of the other.
Kyle Shepherd is a pianist and composer whose work has seen him compose film scores, collaborate on visual art exhibitions, and earn him awards and titles such as the Standard Bank Young Artist Award, and the South African Humanities and Social Sciences Awards. After an extensive career involving local and international concert performances and collaborations, Shepherd is now focusing his attention on composition and has used his time with The Centre for the Less Good Idea to experiment with music and creativity outside of a single instrument, and to create works involving non-musical materials. This has resulted in the musician teaming up with fellow artists Gerhard Marx and Shane Cooper to create a sonic performance using repurposed car parts and instruments, as well as extensive collaborative pieces with the Season’s various dancers, researchers, and actors. In addition to this, Shepherd will be performing Voices – a composition for pre-recorded samples, synthesizers and acoustic piano – which will be performed as part of a double bill with pianist Jill Richards.
WRITER | Dave Mann
SOUND | Courtesy of Kyle Shepherd
CINEMATOGRAPHY & EDITING | Noah Cohen