This just in from Prof. Tina Daub, who teaches ENGL 81, Introduction to Creative Writing. On Tuesday, April 27 at 11 a.m. in Phillips B-120, the acclaimed pianist known as ELEW is coming to her class to perform, and his concert is open to the public. This is the same ELEW who performed at the White House recently, so catch him in this free performance while you can!
Here is what Tina Daub writes:
What we do in poetry is riff. We wander down alleys of words and surprise ourselves with what we find there. Riffing and revising, what could be better? How else to make a word sing and dance across a page, its notes better than birdsong? We return words back to themselves fuller, at times bursting, rhythmical, whispering, shouting, weeping and laughing. We want to transcend and be transcended, to render the invisible visible, to shake your mind, heart, memory, your very bones . We are poets, musicians of language, the written word made to be spoken, to be sung from the rafters, chanted, breathed back into the very invisible we drew it from.
Pianist ELEW knows all about this. He does it with notes. He does it with tone. Where we have the almighty eraser, the backspace and delete keys, he has to keep playing. Keys, strings, whatever it takes.
ELEW is cutting edge. He fuses rock, pop and jazz into his own electrifying genre which he calls rockjazz. Classically trained and jazz-infused having toured for years with Wynton Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, and other jazz legends, ELEW (formerly Eric Lewis) takes the guitar line of such popular bands as Coldplay, Nirvana & The Killers and translates it into poetry: poetry of the 88 keys, poetry wrenched out its forms and made to shine and sometimes bleed.
Gotham magazine calls ELEW a genius. Others say he channels the divine. Paul Carr of The Guardian writes ELEW “doesn’t just play the piano. Rather he owns – owns – it. Reaching inside the lid, he pulls and pounds at the strings, creating a magic eye pictures of sound – walls of noise that suddenly snap into focus as you realise you’re actually listening to the opening bars of Evanescence’s ‘Going Under,’ or The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ or Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ And just as you’ve worked out what’s going on with the strings, Lewis starts on the keys – reinventing songs you’ve heard many times before in ways that you’ll probably never hear again.”
Another reviewer from YRB magazine writes, “Lewis has completely flipped the jazz world inside out, chewed it up and spit it out as a reformed rock entity. Today’s ‘Basquiat on the Keys’ is not just a pianist; he is a piano seducer and, at times, a piano murderer, and it’s all part of his signature style.”
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CCAS Dean Peg Barratt and Executive Associate Dean Roy Guenther are already fans. Come hear for yourself.