SOIREE MAURICE RAVEL, PARIS (2017)
Lucien Johnson's Addis Nocturnes suite premiered in Paris on March 7, 2017, in a co-production of LES AMIS DE MAURICE RAVEL and the theatre LE BALZAC. Performed by Paris-based, New Zealand-born, concert pianist Jeffrey Grice, the Addis Nocturnes comprised the finale of the special Soiree Maurice Ravel, held in celebration of Ravel's 142nd birthday.
Addis Nocturnes (2016)
Addis Nocturnes are a selection of eight pieces for solo piano, written as a result of Johnson's two month stay in Addis Ababa and the harmonic ambiguity of French impressionist piano music. The suite reflects an exploration of the borderlands between the waking and half waking state, drawing upon the dream states of Debussy’s music and the trance rituals that underlie much of Ethiopian musical expression.
"At first glance the relationship between impressionism and Ethiopian music may seem incongruous. Although my decision to approach such a synthesis was based largely on an aesthetic impulse and my strong affinities for both of these artistic movements, I also intuitively felt that there was some sense of symbiosis between these two distant styles and I looked into articulating this impression" - Johnson.