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The Chord Catalogue

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Few Words from Nicolas

Once again, I have the pleasure to present to you a really different work of piano repertoire, and this one is from those shores that few musicians dare to explore : Tom Johnson's Chord Catalogue. 

I have premiered this piece in Kiev, Prague & Minsk and performed it in Collioure, but it was only when I met and exchanged with the composer himself that I understood how to perform it.

This piece was already recorded twice before my recording, but this present version is different. Why ? 

When I met and exchanged with Tom Johnson, I was really into Erik Satie's Vexations, did many times for 24 hours (not yet the 35 hours version) and after hearing that, he told me that if one would play each chord very slowly, It could go up to a 7 hours long version!

Yes, this indication (maybe a joke that I took too seriously?) enlightened me, but unfortunately .... After that I never had a chance to perform it again ! 
And this is really how I wanted to record this music. There are already 2 recordings of this piece at a fast speed, and I thought there was no need for a 3rd identical version. Instead, it is much more interesting to give more breath for each chord to evolve, as it makes the whole piece almost "dronesque". 
With this speed (it is "only" a 3 hours version) the music becomes much more meditative and eerie. It does not sound anymore like free-jazz (as it is said for the previous recordings of this piece), but it makes us think on how La Monte Young music could have evolved. This music is really not for everyone. I must say that I love Tom Johnson's radical & mathematical way of composing. It brings something "super-human" , like meditating in front of the force of the Universe (a black hole?) 

I really hope one day to perform it in such a way at a concert ! But in any case, I hope my recording will help Tom Johnson music to be much more known and performed on concert stage! He is really an interesting composer with highly interesting concepts !

Track List

01 : The 78 two-note chords - 02:18
02 : The 286 three-note chords - 07:29
03 : The 715 four-note chords - 18:12
04 : The 1287 five-note chords - 36:00
05 : The 1716 six-note chords - 43:08
06 : The 1716 seven-note chords - 40:28
07 : The 1287 eight-note chords - 27:48
08 : The 715 nine-note chords - 16:21
09 : The 286 ten-note chords - 07:44
10 : The 78 eleven-note chords - 02:05
11 : The 13 twelve-note chords - 00:26
12 : The 1 thirteen-note chord - 00:06


Total duration : 03:22:05


Music by Tom Johnson
Produced by Nicolas Horvath
Recorded by Nicolas Horvath
Recorded at La Fabrique des Rêves, 6 September 2020, Misy-sur-Yonne,France
Mastered by Nicolas Horvath
Cover, Booklet Art and Design by Clémence Michon
Liner Notes  Bertrand Ferrier
French Translation Nicolas Horvath
Piano Steinway & Sons, Model D, No. 248200
Piano Technician Brice Savine
Catalogue number : NHD008

Link to Physical Version

Soon to be released via ACEL

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