Erased Tapes presents Continuous Music: Selected Works, the first printed collection of scores from prolific pianist and Continuous Music pioneer Lubomyr Melnyk, making his unique technique available to piano lovers all around the world. This first volume contains selections from each of Melnyk’s releases on Erased Tapes, including Corollaries (2013), Evertina (2014), Rivers and Streams (2015) and a very special handwritten score of Pockets of Light, serving as an entry point to his technique. Continuous Music: Selected Works also contains a previously unreleased score, The Moving Window, plus detailed notes from the composer himself. Every copy comes with audio recordings of all six pieces including a new version of Butterfly, specially recorded for the reader.
Melnyk’s mission with this sheet music book is for musicians and piano enthusiasts to gain a greater love and understanding of the instrument, while being inspired to delve further into the world of Continuous Music.
“This music offers you a new dimension of your own self that you did not know existed … a delightful place where you feel the total freedom of the music opening up before you, a vast open plain where you can sail and frolic freely anywhere you wish to go … Your ship is awaiting you, and the sea is endless and at peace … there are no dangers, and no reefs to shatter your journey … only the open, endless water for your discovery.”
Only Parasol and Pockets Of Light are what Melnyk calls “pure” Continuous Music. The other four works are in a standard notation format and include Evertina, Awaiting, a hybrid of Butterfly — a mixture of both regular and Continuous Piano — and The Moving Window, containing elements of both worlds. Since Continuous Music is very different to standard piano music, it has been challenging to present it in a readable and playable notation as there are simply too many notes. Instead, Melnyk developed a new method of notation that can give a clear and immediate impression of the piece; “a notation that lets the music live in your fingers, a notation that offers you Freedom instead of Conformity! “
Although his scores might look daunting at first — some pages are reminiscent of the avant-garde notation of composers like John Cage, Cornelius Cardew or George Crumb — these pieces offer the pianist a great degree of freedom to formulate their own personal vision of the moment they are playing. A particular kind of improvisation is a key part of performing this music and a technique that Lubomyr uses himself. Melnyk’s scores therefore are a unique combination of traditional notation, text and the occasional use of slightly more avant-garde symbology. Importantly, the written scores of Lubomyr are a fascinating insight into his mind, character and personality.
“Do not be dismayed by any difficulties you might face in learning these pieces! It is more important that you use these notations to help you generate a living piece of music, rather than playing every note on the page…As the (in)famous pirate Jack Sparrow once said: “They are more a ‘guideline’ … than a ‘Book of Rules” — Lubomyr Melnyk