I am embarking on the monumental task of exploring, performing, and recording the complete Well-Tempered Clavier of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Well-Tempered Clavier consists of a Prelude and Fugue in each major and minor key of the western scale, of which there are twenty-four. Because Bach tried this experiment twice, twenty years apart, there are two books of twenty-four Preludes and Fugues, each one brilliant in its own way, like the two testaments of the Bible. Performing or even recording these is not part of the typical piano player's path, because of their technical difficulty and length (an average complete performance takes nearly five hours). But predictably for me, I’m not interested in doing things the usual way: I am exploring this work in both traditional ways (a straight-up piano recording) and untraditional ways (remixing some of the music with electronic sounds; adding dancers, actors, performance artists, and set designs to live performances; turning parts and the entirety of the work into films and video art; and generally exploring the intellectual, philosophical, and poetic elements of the piece and its parallels to other works of art, literature, and music.
This is a project I have been very slowly maturing for at least ten years. I have recently launched a Patreon page to help grow the support I now need to bring this concept into the world over the next few years. Each element of the project will be released to supporters of the Patreon first before the wider public gets access, so get on board! Because Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier represents, in so many ways, the alpha and omega of all music, Bach will not be the only composer I will be exploring, performing, and recording, but will be the soil from which all other music I play during this time will grow.