The Solo Piano Works of Nathan Corder
Sashay (2015) is the first of multiple piano works created by composer Nathan Corder for new renaissance artist Elizabeth A. Baker. The work, which appears as the first track on Baker’s debut album on Aeocade Music entitled Quadrivium, has been praised in reviews for both the subtlety of composition by Corder as well as a powerhouse performance displaying technical refinement and sensitivity by Baker.
In January 2019, the duo began extensive workshopping in Oakland, CA at The Paul Drescher Ensemble Studio, for a new solo piano work involving movement to be choreographed by Baker along with electronics designed by Corder, which extensively explore playing the instrument away from the keyboard by transversing pathways with transducer in hand to excite all manner of surfaces on the piano as well as the human body. The premiere of this new work will occur at MISE_EN PLACE Bushwick in April 2019.
Moving forward, Corder & Baker plan to create new works that interact with the piano as a solo instrument in nontraditional as well as traditional mediums that exploit Baker’s endurance and versatility as a performer. Planned performances of new piano works are slated along Baker’s active tour route throughout the Spring 2019-2020 seasons to universities as well as nontraditional public venues in cities including, but not limited to: Oakland, CA, Ashland, OR, Seattle, WA, Orlando, FL, NYC, NY, Toronto, ON, Montreal, QC, and more. In addition to planned performances of the new piano works, Corder & Baker will record these new works for public release in both audio as well as visual format, and Baker will facilitate discussions of the process of working in collaboration with a living composer on the creation as well as presentation of performance works both with and without written scores at educational institutions along her tour routes. Documentary style recording of this collaborative process, may develop into a short film about the process of collaboration as an art form, at the discretion of Baker & Corder after review of the footage.
Both Baker & Corder are passionate about inclusion and fostering safe spaces for art to experiment without judgement. In the creation of these new piano works, both artists push each other further in a way that redefines and stretches their own personal expression of the universe through art. As an African American woman, Baker is driven by a desire to obliterate the sonic expectations that are placed upon her as a black musician the moment that she sets foot on a stage — through Corder’s work which transcends gender, race, and class; Baker finds artistic fulfilment and a peaceful energy that radiates to audience members from diverse backgrounds. Through performances in nontraditional spaces as well as planned educational outreach, Baker fundamentally seeks to provide access to disenfranchised members of the local communities particularly, school aged children that lack engagement with experimental music due to systemic socioeconomic barriers to inclusion.
This project is not terminal in nature, and will continue to evolve over time beyond the grant period.
Start and End Dates
08/10/2019 — 08/10/2022