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Why Helene Grimaud Flooded the NYC's Park Avenue Armory / WFMT

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Pianist Hélène Grimaud made a literal splash exploring water music at the Park Avenue Armory, New York during the 2014-15 season. She teamed with artist Douglas Gordon to flood the Armory's 55,000 square foot Drill Hall with 122,000 gallons of water, and played a set of water-inspired music for solo piano in the middle of the peaceful reflecting pool they created. Grimaud recently released an album, Water, that resulted from her performance, titled tears become… streams become… She spoke about this unique artistic collaboration and the music on her album.

Composers have been fascinated by water for centuries, and there's a lot of water music that she could have included on the program. In fact, Grimaud's original set list was slightly longer than the final version. It was shortened, she explained, because "We decided to make the actual creation of the installation a part of the program." During the performance, for 20 minutes, water oozed from the floor of the darkened Hall before Grimaud even entered. "It was quite a mesmerizing experience for everyone there, and I think really contributed to putting people in a different place before starting to receive this highly fragile and poetic music. But that meant less music."   SEE THE FULL WFMT: Chicago POST