Lubomyr Melnyk at The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh tonight saw one of the most unique talents in contemporary music take to the stage. Although this was my first exposure to his music (apart from some Youtube videos) it was obvious from the beginning of this show that many of the people in the audience were long time followers of Lubomyr Melnyk, and quite rightly for he is as his promotional script tells us “one of the most extraordinary pianists and composers of our day.”
Normally when writing a review of any musician I try to separate the music and the artist a little, stay away from too much personalisation and concentrate on the performance that they have brought to the stage. With Lubomyr Melnyk that division line is not possible as his personal philosophy on life and his music are so interwoven with one another as to be inseparable.
This evening saw a relaxed and at times jovial Lubomyr Melnyk with his audience (but don’t mention Spotify to him) and before each performance piece we were given a little bit of his own personal thoughts on life and often a detailed story of the work about to be performed too and the works are extraordinary pieces that really need no explanation as his compositions have the power to speak directly to you, and “Butterfly” and other works were simply at their best with Lubomyr Melnyk choosing wisely due to the size of the venue not to use any electronic amplification on the wonderful concert piano that The Queen’s Hall has. The very special, and at times almost spiritual, space of this venue when special music like this is being performed is a very rare thing indeed. Lubomyr is right, electronic amplification does make very subtle changes to the way we hear sounds, and this music should be heard as it is from the piano and the air around it.
The longest work performed in this set also had the longest story introduction to it, the sublime “Windmills”. Can a windmill have a conscious identity and a soul? With music like this to speak for it perhaps.
Lubomyr Melnyk also gave a very small introduction to the audience of his principles of “continuous music”, read the rest of the article here.