Trains of Thought

Cliff Korman

There are two main inspirational elements at the heart of Cliff Kormanʼs creative process: gesture and improvisation. Each materializes in his musical language through visual and conceptual suggestions as he strategizes to find the meeting point of narrative and abstraction.

Kormanʼs latest work for piano solo plays on a wide range of possible ambiguities and crossovers among the written, the oral, and the improvised, stretching the very meaning of these realms. In this cycle, based on original sketches and studies and the confluence of thought and action in the moment, he explores open pathways with an intimate touch, still maintaining scattered traces of the distinct way in which he has always referenced the masters of the pan-American piano tradition.

Through his exploration of the piano traditions of the Americas, he has not only embraced the cross-fertilization among genres and repertoires, but has come to discover the piano as a new instrument. In mastering rhythm and unfolding a maze of melodic suggestions, he works with sound like a diamond carver, constantly marveling at the intimate dependence of clarity and hybridity.