Released on Islandia Music Records, the album re-imagines the six solo cello suites of J. S. Bach
Titled Infinite Bach, the cellist Maya Beiser‘s new disc presents all six Bach cello suites — but Beiser re-imagines this deeply familiar music, using various recording techniques to explore the frequencies and resonances of her converted barn in the Berkshires.
These recording techniques were inspired by Alvin Lucier‘s 1969 work I Am Sitting in a Room. In the piece, Lucier recorded himself speaking aloud, then played the recording back into the room as he repeated the process — resulting in a muddier sound each time, though with new overtones appearing in each iteration.
Beiser worked with sound engineer Dave Cook, a longtime friend and collaborator, on this project. The pair considered how the acoustic of the barn itself uncovers, informs, and reshapes Beiser’s interpretation of the Suites.
You can buy the CD here.
Born in Israel to French and Argentinian parents, Maya Beiser’s career has seen her perform in venues such as the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Barbican. She has released fourteen acclaimed solo albums, many of which have topped the classical music charts.
“I spent 2022, my 60th year of life, immersed in recording, and rerecording, deconstructing and decontextualizing, experimenting and exploring sounds, reverberations, harmonics in my converted barn in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, engaging with Bach’s cello Suites,” Beiser said.
“Having dedicated the past 35 years to creating new music, work that reimagines the cello on a vast canvas in multiple disciplines, I radically departed from the conventional classical cello sound. Yet, the Suites were ingrained in my daily practice.”
“Even as I was getting ready to perform a new work by Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, or David Bowie, I would still begin every day playing a movement from the Suites,” she continued. “Over the years I was experimenting with the process of unlearning the doctrine I was taught about this music, until last year when I took the time to relearn it anew.”