Sashay (2015) is the first of multiple piano works created by composer Nathan Corder for new renaissance artist Elizabeth A. Baker. The work, which appears as the first track on Baker’s debut album on Aeocade Music entitled Quadrivium, has been praised in reviews for both the subtlety of composition by Corder as well as a powerhouse performance displaying technical refinement and sensitivity by Baker.
In January 2019, the duo began extensive workshopping in Oakland, CA at The Paul Drescher Ensemble Studio, for a new solo piano work involving movement to be choreographed by Baker along with electronics designed by Corder, which extensively explore playing the instrument away from the keyboard by transversing pathways with transducer in hand to excite all manner of surfaces on the piano as well as the human body. The premiere of this new work will occur at MISE_EN PLACE Bushwick in April 2019.
Moving forward, Corder & Baker plan to create new works that interact with the piano as a solo instrument in nontraditional as well as traditional mediums that exploit Baker’s endurance and versatility as a performer. In addition to planned performances of the new piano works, Corder & Baker will record these new works for public release in both audio as well as visual format, and Baker will facilitate discussions of the process of working in collaboration with a living composer on the creation as well as presentation of performance works both with and without written scores at educational institutions along her tour routes.
Both Baker & Corder are passionate about inclusion and fostering safe spaces for art to experiment without judgement. In the creation of these new piano works, both artists push each other further in a way that redefines and stretches their own personal expression of the universe through art. As an African American woman, Baker is driven by a desire to obliterate the sonic expectations that are placed upon her as a black musician the moment that she sets foot on a stage — through Corder’s work which transcends gender, race, and class; Baker finds artistic fulfilment and a peaceful energy that radiates to audience members from diverse backgrounds. Through performances in nontraditional spaces as well as planned educational outreach, Baker & Corder fundamentally seek to provide access to disenfranchised members of the local communities particularly, school aged children that lack engagement with experimental music due to systemic socioeconomic barriers to inclusion.
While Baker & Corder started their collaborations through the medium of piano, they have recently come together to focus on improvisational performances with electronics and found objects.
LIST OF WORKS
waking sleeping bodies (2019) with choreography by Elizabeth A. Baker
Garden of Ages at Chapel of the Chimes – Oakland, CA (2019)
UPCOMING PERFORMANCES & INSTALLATIONS
July 2019 – Westben Performer/Composer Residency (Ontario, CA)
August 22, 2019 – INTERSECT at The Palladium (Saint Petersburg, FL)
PAST PERFORMANCES & INSTALLATIONS
March 26, 2019 – The BOP STOP at The Music Settlement (Cleveland, OH)
April 1, 2019 – Rhodes College (Memphis, TN)
April 12, 2019 – Curator Series at MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick (Brooklyn, NY)
June 21, 2019 – Garden of Memory at Chapel of the Chimes (Oakland, CA)