Dancing to the Tremors of Time

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Dancing to the Tremors of Time

Surrealist piano music from Australia's east coast.

New works by seven Australian composers.

Michael Kieran Harvey (piano)


A collection of music reflecting the art of Mona – eclectic, surreal and powerful. Michael Kieran Harvey performs new works by seven Australian composers.

The binding element in all the music on this CD is the concept of surrealism as music. Music is notoriously difficult to pin down in a representational way, but, happily, so is surrealism, as it is more a philosophical strategy than an art movement.

The title work, Dancing to the Tremors of Time, is indeed the title of an Australian painting by Gleeson given this surrealist categorisation, and Colbert creates a metaphorical sonic universe of the image by equating non-sequitur melodic fragments to the disturbingly truncated and deformed figurations of Gleeson’s painting.

Following on from this, the sonatas by McIntyre and Kay, though entirely different in language, but nevertheless like the surrealists in approach, rebel against the establishment by taking opposite stances: one anti-programmatic, and one strenuously representational.

Gyger achieves a quiet grandeur in his use of interweaved minimal cyphers, not unlike the delicate linear narratives of Kandinsky, while Drake and Friedel evoke familiar worlds of sorrow and abandonment similar to those of Hopper’s Diner paintings and Vasarely’s explosive op-art.

Collins, with his stylised jazz idiom, completes the rebellion by fully notating an improvised art into that most archaic and dry musical form, the prelude and fugue, achieving a witty fluidity despite his restrictions reminiscent of Dali’s vagina piano paintings.

Track Listing:

Dancing to the Tremors of Time (2017) - Brendan Colbert
Piano Sonata No. 4 (2017) - Scott McIntyre
Piano Sonata No. 9 (2018) - Don Kay
D E G (2019) - Elliott Gyger
Rabbit Song (2019) - Elizabeth Drake
Vanishing Point (2019) - Martin Friedel
Prelude and Fugue for solo piano (2018) - Brendan Collins


  • Move Records
  • MD 3438