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Rivers & Mirrors: Part I - Oscar Edelstein

Updated on May 12, 2015
Sandra Grinberg in "Rivers & Mirrors: Part I"
Sandra Grinberg in "Rivers & Mirrors: Part I"

Concert for piano by Oscar Edelstein

"Monologue for un-classic piano, perhaps in six parts with two impromptus - like lakes of intuition - and an invitation to female voice, computer and video"

An un-classic piano, an abandoned factory, an empty library

"Rivers and Mirrors: Part I" is a recital by Oscar Edelstein (Argentina) for piano, with voice and video created by Deborah Claire Procter.

Using a mix of music and images this concert creates a music which has an atmospheric sense of history, memory and longing. Edelstein has a non-standard, "un-classical" approach to the piano where he uses extended techniques to conjure up new timbrical possibilities of sound in the piano. He describes it as like "opening new windows of expression in the piano." The result of this concert was both enigmatic and hypnotic.

The video and preview tour was made possible through grants from the Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International in 2006 with performances in Tabernacle (Machynlleth); Bolivar Hall (London); and Corbett Road Concert Hall (Cardiff).

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[It] is one of those rare performances in which you feel that something has been added to your life, some new insight, a different kind of association, or the sheer pleasure of having great music, images and poetry combined in a subtle way. Edelstein's piano playing and improvisations are really quite extraordinary.

— Gloria Carnevali (former Director of the Bolivar Hall, London)

Sounds and images combine

Sandra Grinberg (Rivers and Mirrors: Part I) by Oscar Edelstein
Sandra Grinberg (Rivers and Mirrors: Part I) by Oscar Edelstein

Rivers and Mirrors: Part I is Oscar Edelstein's poetic reflection on the theme of rivers and mirrors, that poses the question "to be in the mirror or to cross the river."

In the middle of the live recital a video is projected where a woman in a red dress appears amongst the dust and concrete of an abandoned building. She moves clutching a mirror under her arm. This silent presence of a woman alone gives a new dimension to the intensity of the piano.

The woman is played by Sandra Grinberg (Poland / USA), a dancer with the Trisha Brown Dance Company (NYC) who came to Buenos Aires to work with Deborah Claire Procter to make the video. In the final section of the film Grinberg moves across the bare bookcases of the famous national library of Buenos Aires where author Jorge Luis Borges once worked.

The movement is at times subtle and minimal yet charged with presence.

In the final moment of the performance Deborah Claire Procter enters to add a vocal layer that combines with and echoes the virtuosic piano playing of Edelstein.

The final of the concert is Edelstein’s composition “El Rio” adapted from the poem by Juan L.Ortiz.

[Edelstein] possesses a formidable pianistic technique. Rivers & Mirrors is essentially a theatrical experience, with sound and images created live and recorded... The interaction of live and recorded performance is very effectively achieved, and the timing impeccable. The piano soundscape is quasi-orchestral and quite striking... The wordless vocals are brought in gradually, and become inseparable from the images...There is an intensity to the work that rarely loses its edge.

— Ray Picot: Review for ILAMS (Iberian & Latin American Music Society)

Oscar Edelstein (Argentina)

Composer and Pianist

Oscar Edelstein is an award winning Argentinean composer and pianist, is renowned for his inventiveness and originality. He is frequently described as leading the avant garde from Latin America and opening new horizons for modern music. His music crosses the lines between the classic, the popular and the contemporary, winning enthusiastic audiences captivated by his compelling use of rhythm, theatricality, passion and emotion creating what leading critic Federico Monjeau called "profound and fascinating music." In 2011 his work Cristal Argento I was commissioned and premiered by Basel Sinfonietta. He has many operas and a close connection with theatre and dance.

Deborah Claire Procter (Wales)

Vocalist & Multi-media artist

Deborah Claire Procter is a vocalist and multi-media artist from Wales who makes performances for theatres, galleries and site-specific spaces that are a hybrid of live art, dance and theatre, and have been seen in America, India, Denmark and as well as the U.K. In 2005 she received the Creative Wales Award to work with video. Her collaboration with Oscar Edelstein began through Wales Arts International and British Councilfunding in 2003 and 2005.

She began training musically and collaborating with Oscar Edelstein to make the voice-work and video for various pieces of musical theatre such as Insanas (directed by Silvia Pritz), as well as Rivers and Mirrors, Piano Impossible, El Caballo Fantastma, La Carta Imaginaria, and La Grilla Acústica by Edelstein.

In 2012 she worked again with the composer to create a book that captures the essence of the music with a selection of drawings and photos that orient the listener into the complex multilayered artistic universe of Edelstein’s music. Titled "Estudios sobre La Grilla Acústica” it is a bi-lingual book with two audio CD’s of the Ensamble Nacional del Sur in which Procter is a guest vocalist.

"To the singer, Procter it is only necessary to be grateful to her for the opportunity to be able to re-discover the incomparable and inimitable singularity of the beauty of the human voice... simply dazzling for the technical solvency in the range and her versatility." Carlos Marí­n, El Diario

Sandra Grinberg (Poland / U.S.A.)


Sandra Grinberg began working with the Trisha Brown Dance Company as an apprentice having started dancing as a child in the the national ballet school of Poland. After graduating she went to on to study at the dance school P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels and from there to New York. She joined Trisha Brown in 2000 and for seven years was one of their senior dancers and workshop leader until taking a career break.

Video Clips

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