Seattle pianist captivates audience

Colin Wood performs Erik Satie’s “Gnossiennes No. 1-5” in the Firehouse Cafe performing arts space. // Photo by Colin Murphy

By Colin Murphy

Award-winning Seattle pianist Colin Wood filled the room of Bellingham’s Firehouse Cafe & Performing Arts Center with the sounds of 19th century Spain and France on Friday, March 29.

The collection of pieces ranged from the ethereal works of Erik Satie to a virtuosic and intense works of Isaac Albéniz, as part of a show Wood titled “A Journey in Time.”

“These were a collection of pieces that I was trying to find a common theme in, as all the pieces were composed in Paris, but at different times,” Wood said. “I like to talk about the works and give historical background while performing.”

Wood said he titled the show “A Journey in Time” because he wanted audiences to feel like they were being taken through different time periods.

Wood’s set started with a piece titled “Le Tic-Toc-Choc” by Parisian composer François Couperin, an energetic number that demonstrated Wood’s ability and familiarity with the piano. To contrast, Wood played Erik Satie’s “Gnossiennes No. 1-5,” a slower and more eerie set of works.

“I thought it had a lot of refreshing character to it,” event-goer Joan Cervisi said. “It stirred the bohemian-artistic character in me…there was an exotic nature to it.”

According to Wood, at the time of composition these pieces were considered experimental in nature and challenged the conventions of music.

“I think it’s really important for people to hear this kind of music because it’s not something that is played that much, especially the impressionist music, even on the concert stage,” Wood said.

Wood said he looks for the lesser-known classical works to play for audiences in an attempt to change classical music’s bad reputation.  

“Performing these pieces live really shows people that classical music can be a lot more exciting than people seem to think it is.”

Although the turnout for the show was low, those who were there enjoyed the performance.

“I thought it was very well done,” event-goer Darcy Mcvoy said “It’s a shame it was under-attended. It certainly captured my attention throughout.”

Wood will be performing “A Journey in Time” at the Crossroads Community Theatre in Bellevue on April 20.

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