Conny Blom

10 Songs for Joyce Hatto
10 tracks, stereo soundpiece and installation with original Hatto CDs

In the first half of the 70's the British pianist Joyce Hatto (5 September 1928 – 29 June 2006) carried out a series of recitals featuring works by Franz Liszt, but after some quite unfavourable reviews of her performances she retired from the stage. Her performance at Wigmore Hall on July 7th 1976 was to be her final public appearance. After a somewhat promising beginning of her career back in the 50's, Hatto now disappeared from the spotlight and few would at this point expect that the aging pianist would more than 20 years later create a major stir in the world of classical music.

In the early years of the new millennium the pianist suddenly unleashed more than 100 CDs of her recordings of classical pieces onto the unprepared music world. The discs were released with the help of her husband William Barrington-Coupe, who was running a small record company. On these albums, which supposedly contained recordings from all the years of her public exile, Hatto was interpreting a vast array of the most important classical piano pieces, and the records were met with very positive reviews. The aging pianist, whom few had heard anything about for the last 25 years, became a phenomenon in the world of classical music, and there was almost no end to the appraisal of her skilled and sensitive renditions. It was indeed a triumphant comeback. Or so it seemed.

After a while it was revealed that all the recordings were in fact of other pianists' performances. The couple had simply copied the performances from CDs, manipulated the sound a little to mask the origin and then rereleased them under Hatto's name. The music critics, who often had been more positive to Hatto’s recordings than to the original releases, had unknowingly created a parallel story to that of Jorge Luis Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote".

"10 Songs for Joyce Hatto" consists entirely of manipulated samples from the Hatto albums, and the track titles are taken from interviews with Hatto, or writings about her.

CD-booklet with longer text (PDF)

Listen to mp3 samples below:

01. The Greatest Living Pianist That Almost No One Has Ever Heard Of
02. Ornaments Attached with Elastoplast
03. People Told Me I Had Two Speeds
04. We Are Just Vehicles
05. Hats Off to Joyce
06. In Memory of René Köhler
07. I Had a Brother Who Was Born Dead
08. Joyce Hatto Part 1
09. Joyce Hatto Part 2
10. Joyce Hatto Part 3

Conny Blom

Conny Blom

Conny Blom
Conny Blom