What one can say about Bruno Ruder’s way of playing is that he delves into the bowels of the piano to extract many nuggets.
The fortes and pianos of the instrument are abundantly solicited without the quest ever seeming to be anything other than musical.
No virtuoso demonstrations, then, but a strong taste for contrasts. From telluric basses to pearled high notes, the keyboard rumbles or sings.
The phrasing is sometimes fluid, sometimes torrid, sometimes hesitant, seeking the right note, listening to the resonance, leaving room for silences. This approach to the instrument is truly fascinating because the listener’s attention is constantly requested since surprise is a constitutive element of the playing.
Some passages seem to flow naturally, such as an ostinato or a cantabile line.
Then, there are gaps in register, variations in tempo that make us wait for the way in which the pianist will bring the resolution of the phrase.
Indeed, behind this taste for surprise, one can always sense a concern for the construction, for the architecture of the pieces, which leave nothing to chance.
It is difficult to determine here the part of the writing and that of the improv. But it doesn’t matter. Alone with his 88 keys, Bruno Ruder kneads and shapes the sound paste like a sculptor of the moment or a tightrope walker, always aware of his center of gravity and of the possibilities of harmonic shifts or melodic continuity that this control allows, which does not exclude casualness.
This lush solo is a beautiful journey through varied sound landscapes and the guide who invites us is a master in the art of enchanting our ears without ever tiring us. Masterly !
PS: The music that Bruno Ruder played this evening can also be found on the beautiful CD “Anomalies” published by the label Vision fugitive.
©Photos Jean-Baptiste Millot