On Jan Lisiecki's playing style

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
KVRist
50 posts since 21 May, 2020

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:41 pm

Hi,

this pianist Jan Lisiecki popped up on my YouTube recommendations, and after listening to him, I was so struck by his playing style.
Struck not as in impressed per se, but really struck by its strangeness. I don't mean that it's bad, it has its charms, but it's so strange and new that I've been listening to his renditions of Chopin, Beethoven etc over and over to put a word on this feeling I'm getting.

The word I ended up with is "irony". His playing sounds ironic! Ironic as in there is a constant distanciation effect going on or a laugh being retained, from beginning to end. I was reminded of other artists like Virgil Abloh, the difference being that Abloh is openly ironic, while Lisiecki is so serious that the tongueincheek feeling is reinforced.

I checked the comment section on YouTube to see if anyone shares my impression, but it's only full of compliments and praising. Is anybody seeing what I'm seeing here? I think I'm going crazy, being the only person who finds his playing ironic.

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KVRian
1255 posts since 16 Jan, 2004

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:20 pm

I don't think I would pick up on what you're describing unsolicited, but I wonder if there's a protection mechanism going on for him. Maybe something to help cope with the attention he gets from both peers his age and adults that praise him. I imagine his talent puts him in a lonely place at times.

But, I could be completely off and an @$$ for even suggesting such things.

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