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Dan Tepfer to perform in Bangor and Stonington

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Dan Tepfer to perform in Bangor and Stonington photo by Vincent Soyez
Listen to a musical conversation

Dan Tepfer will be performing his 'Goldberg Variations, Variations' live and solo at the Gracie Theatre and in The gWatson Gallery in Stonington. Tepfer notes that playing solo is quite different than performing as a trio.

'I think of it as one of the biggest challenges in music. It's the difference between having a conversation with someone else - somebody who is very easy to talk to, constantly having new ideas coming out. Everything you say has a repercussion for the conversation,' he said. 'The difference between that and having to sustain a train of thought on your own for a couple of hours. It really comes down to a meditative state of mind that you have to get into.'

The 'Variations' involves Tepfer playing Bach and then playing a variation on that variation. It's like two musicians riffing with each other, only centuries apart.

'In a way, in music, we're always riffing on history. No one invents anything completely new,' said Tepfer. 'I'm taking what's happened and pushing it a little bit. This is more an explicit statement of that.'

Tepfer developed a taste for jazz in a way that is different from that of many Americans.

'My parents are both American, from Oregon. They moved [to France] three years before I was born and I lived there until I was 18. I went to public French school and was really immersed in French culture,' said Tepfer. 'My mom is an opera singer, and I used to hear her sing at the Paris Opera all the time. I wanted to start piano the place to go was the National Conservatory. Because I grew up in Paris, I studied classical and learned jazz on my own. It made me have a more unique perspective on improve and jazz.'

Improvisational jazz is free from the structure and confines of what the public is often used to when listening to music. Rather than visiting a familiar musical setting, both the performer and the listener are embarking on an adventure of vivid sound.

'I think what it has to offer is the potential to take the listener on a voyage. My approach to music is, you start from a certain point and try to go as far as possible from that point. The performer is going on that journey and I don't know where I am going to go,' Tepfer said. 'I'm not pretending to make this journey. Nothing is planned out. It really has the potential to take the audience with it in a very authentic and unique way. But it's an investment on the part of the audience to be willing to take that leap of faith and take the journey with the performer.'

Information and ticket prices for the upcoming performances can be found at and For more information on Dan Tepfer, visit

Last modified on Thursday, 18 October 2012 08:40


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