Michael Snow [3 Phases]

Vancouver-based painter, piano player and conceptualist Michael Snow is celebrated in this eclectic three CD box set of solo piano divided into three separate phases: piano antique; piano biologique; and piano mécanique. The earliest performances, "Mamie's Blues," "Cherry" and "Montana to Toronto," date back to 1948/49. The monumental "Around Blues" lasts almost 45 minutes. Recorded at the Music Gallery in Toronto in 1987, this ambitious performance fuses his earliest pianistic techniques into the metaphysical drama of Snow's current conceptions. The third CD features music recorded in Quebec in 1997, and is a provocative examination of piano dynamics modulated through the electronic manipulations and interplay of artists like Jocelyn Robert and John Oswald. Awards like the Junos should honour exceptional projects like this evident labour of love. (Ohm éditions)