Scorn not the Sonnet

Victoria Hansen, soprano; The Bowed Piano Ensemble

People already familiar with the mysterious and surreal New Albion recordings of Stephen Scott’s music know that his Colorado College-based Bowed Piano Ensemble is something of a misnomer. What began as a group of Scott’s students venturing inside a grand piano with lollipop stick-sized violin bows has morphed into a full-scale exploration of the instrument’s innards using dislocated piano hammers, guitar picking, finger rubbing, pretty much everything except actually playing on the keys of the piano. Watching them live is like watching open heart surgery performed on a piano. For his latest work, The Deep Spaces, the members of the Ensemble even sing in chorus with soprano Victoria Hansen. What’s going on here?

—FJO