Concert pianist Dynasty Battles is pleased to announce the release of Study Buddy, a
virtuosic new etude composed for Battles by Ted Hearne (The Source, Sound from the
Bench, Place). This fun and challenging collaboration is brought to life in a new music video
(by FourTen Media) filmed at the historic Cunningham Piano Restoration Factory in the Germantown
neighborhood of Philadelphia.
In this video, Battles’ stunning fingerwork, hand crossovers and performance presence are on
full display as he executes the exacting and passionate new score from Hearne which slyly
alternates between machine-like passages of precisely-aligned octave jumps and rhapsodic
gestures that might as well have come directly from Rachmaninoff’s speed-addled alter ego.
Battles and Hearne formed a
friendship after Dynasty was
programmed alongside the LA
Philharmonic’s performance of
Hearne’s Law of Mosaics, and shortly thereafter their collaborative relationship was
born. Study Buddy was conceived
during the early days of the
pandemic. With both artists
struggling for creative outlets —
Hearne in LA, Battles in Philly —
the two passed ideas and
recordings back and forth, and
focusing on an idea for a piece
that would allow Battles’ rhythmic
prowess to be wedded with his
talent for delicate and subtle voicing. Study Buddy, therefore, is an etude which both plays
with the mathematically-driven arrangement and re-arrangements of seven octaves of a single
pitch (G#) and an additively-intense ode to the Romantic etude, each musical section
“battling” back and forth in succession.
Dynasty’s performance, taking place after the piece
was finally ready to be recorded and pandemic
restrictions were lifted, captures an undeniable
emotional buildup the pianist experienced throughout
lockdowns and unrest.
Cunningham Piano Company is one the oldest and
largest piano restoration factory in existence. The
internationally known facility represents a rebirth for
Dynasty who was born and raised in Philadelphia,
where he was steeped in playing jazz and hip-hop
while simultaneously shredding his Classical music
chops. Featured with the LA Philharmonic in 2018, in
2019 as a soloist on the Dame Myra Hess Series, and
in 2020 with a viral video playing Chopin, Dynasty
began his emergence as a concert pianist.
Battles is scheduled to perform a live solo concert at the Philadelphia Philosophical Society on
December 16th. Hearne’s next work in the Philadelphia area will take place in June 2023,
when The Crossing premieres his evening-length work Farming.
Link for tickets: https://www.pcmsconcerts.org/concerts/dynasty-battles-piano/