Nonesuch Records is happy to announce the release of composer/pianist Timothy Andres’s Shy and Mighty on May 4. Comprising 10 interrelated piano pieces, Shy and Mighty is performed by Andres and pianist David Kaplan. This is the first recording of the work, and also Andres’s label debut. You can hear the opening track of the album, “Antennae,” on the Nonesuch Radio “New Music” channel.
Timothy (Timo) Andres was an undergraduate at Yale University when critics and fellow composers began to take notice of his skills as both writer and pianist. In 2004, the New Yorker’s Alex Ross said of him: “He is a formidable pianist who has the measure of Charles Ives’s towering Concord Sonata. He is also a composer … Most notably, his music is beginning to show an individual voice, which is the hardest thing for a composer to achieve.”
Though steeped in the classical canon, Andres has expressed his admiration for a range of artists, like Radiohead, Brian Eno, Múm, Sigur Rós, Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Olivia Tremor Control, and Boards of Canada. His classical influences include John Adams, Charles Ives, György Ligeti, and his former teachers, Ingram Marshall and Martin Bresnick.
While each track stands on its own, Andres conceived of Shy and Mighty as an album-length work. As Andres says in the album’s liner notes: “When I sat down to write Shy and Mighty, this was very clearly my goal for it—that I would write an album for two pianos. I was very focused on the recorded medium—even though this is obviously something that works live, that was somehow secondary. The two albums that really did it for me were Olivia Tremor Control’s Black Foliage and Boards of Canada’s Music Has the Right to Children, both of which are structured in a similar way … larger set pieces and little transitional things in between. And that’s what I set out to do—I didn’t end up writing too many miniatures, but that was the idea, anyway.”
Last spring, John Adams showcased Andres in a young performers concert he curated for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrellaseries, which was pronounced “irresistible” by Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed. Upcoming performances include a Wordless Music concert at New York City’s (Le) Poisson Rouge on Monday, May 17. For additional performance dates, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.