* featured in Awakenings starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams

Der amerikanische Komponist und Konzertpianist, Schüler von La Monte Young, zelebriert auf einem Yamaha C7 seine Synthese aus Romantik, Jazz und Moderne. Ebenso virtuos wie berührend.

the project

In Flight is a collection of original piano solos in both just intonation and standard piano tuning. In the artistic hands of pianist and composer Michael Harrison, contemporary acoustic piano finds a new elegance and clarity of lyric expression. Blending classical, impressionistic, and jazz influences, his melodies and rhythms can be energetically in flight or as intimate as a breath of air against distant wind chimes. They remain most memorable for their subtle power and emotional grace. In fact, the title track was used by Columbia Pictures in the movie trailers and television advertisements for the Academy Award winning movie Awakenings.

Harrison is one of the new wave of composers working with just intonation, an ancient tuning system which is based on natural acoustic intervals. Both Because of You and The Swan Has Flown to the Mountain Lake are presented here in this special tuning. Characterized by poignant melodies, rich harmonies, and layers of rhythmic patterns, his sounds are technically adept and deeply emotional.

the artist

A piano enthusiast since the age of six, Michael Harrison received classical training throughout his childhood and went on to study composition at the University of Oregon and the Juilliard School. Since 1979, he has been studying North Indian classical raga with master Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath and Terry Riley. His most profound influence, however, has been renowned avant-garde composer La Monte Young, whose pioneering work with just intonation was a crucial element in Harrison's pursuit of the purest, most uncompromised sound. "I was hearing music with sounds that the piano just couldn't achieve; it always sounded out of tune. To solve this problem, I created my own instrument." Thus the harmonic piano was born. Tuned in two just intonation scales, the instrument allows Harrison a range of tonal flexibility and tuning precision of unprecedented scope.

Michael Harrison has received Ruth Lorraine Close Awards from the University of Oregon and has been the recipient of grants from Meet The Composer, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the Dia Art Foundation. His composition, Symphonic Cortege, a tone-poem for full orchestra, received its world premiere by the Eugene Symphony Orchestra in 1992.



1 In Flight * 5'56"
2 The Swan Has Flown to the Mountain Lake 7'04"
3 Because of You 4'02"
4 Echo of Time 3'47"
5 The Joy of Life 3'32"
6 Ocean Dance 4'33"
7 Winter's Dream 5'44"
8 Mira 5'44"
  Total Time: 39'53"