One of Charlemagne Palestine's most important work to date: an impressive composition of more than 140 minutes based on an unique instrument, a double piano on which one keyboard is played by the feet.
“Several years ago Martin Kaufmann of Kaufmann Pianos in Brussels told me he had seen and heard an amazing and unique instrument in Italy A piano with 2 separate bodies!
One with a normal grand piano body having 88 notes to be played with the fingers, and below this piano was a second piano also with a grand piano body which could play simultaneously the lower 37 notes of a grand piano with pedals for the feet.
Having known my music for years and that i had been a carilloneur where one plays with both fists and feet simultaneously Martin Kaufmann thought that the Borgato would be perfect for my music The inventor of this unique instrument was Luigi Borgato from Padua who developed this instrument with his wife Paola.
I was intriqued and through an intermediary, the Italian pianist Roberto Posseda visited the Borgatos in Lonigo where they have their workshop and found that their instrument was perfect for my body and my music We immediately decided to organise recording sessions in a local church for one week and ‘From Etudes to Cataclysms' is the result!”
Charlemagne Palestine wrote intense, ritualistic music in the 1970s, intended by the composer to rub against audiences' expectations of what is beautiful and meaningful in music. A composer-performer, he always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest works were compositions for carillon and electronic drones, and he is best known for his intensely performed piano works. He also performs as a vocalist. Palestine's performance style is ritualistic; he generally surrounds himself (and his piano) with stuffed animals, smokes large numbers of kretek (Indonesian clove cigarettes) and drinks cognac.
See also Marie Canet: Palestine, first name Charlemagne – Meshugga Land
; Charlemagne Palestine & Z'ev
; Charlemagne Palestine & Rhys Chatham