Soft Series: Piano Jouet with Elizabeth A. Baker
Celebrated for her “terrifying dynamic range,” cleanliness of sound, as well as unique sensitivity and ability to sculpt her performance for the acoustics of a space, Elizabeth A. Baker is a dramatic performer who pairs her understanding of sonic space with a unique eclectic voice, making for a spatial and auditory experience of music. Elizabeth refers to herself as a “New Renaissance Artist” that embraces a constant stream of change and rebirth in practice, which expands into a variety of media, chiefly in how the sonic world can be manipulated to personify a variety of philosophies and principles.
Tune in for the livestream at 7:30PM to listen HERE.
An active performer highly sought after for her unique concert presentation methods, which break the fourth wall and draw the audience further into the music by asking them to listen beyond the surface through interactive dialogue, reminding them that there is no such thing as an incorrect interpretation of a work. Baker firmly believes that every person will encounter music in a unique manner because each person comes from a different set of cultural norms, life experiences, and even the way they physically hear can be a factor to consider when seeking to relate with a work. Her solo concert tours have featured engagements at Lamar University (Beaumont, TX), Flying Monkey Arts Collective (Huntsville, AL), Eyedrum (Atlanta, GA), Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), and the Good Shepherd Chapel (Seattle, WA).
Combining her love of electronics and keyboard instruments, Baker embarked on a mission in 2015 to promote works for toy piano and electronics, using a setup that combines handmade microphones and hydrophones. Her original works have been hailed by the Orlando Weekly as “a sterling testimonial to her artistry that proves she’s not just an expert in the toy piano field but a pioneer.” In Fall 2015, Schoenhut Piano Company added Baker to their official artist roster.
In Summer 2016, Baker embarked on creating the score for a film project headed by the brilliant dancer-choreographer Helen Hansen French, which explores the experience of being an artist-mother. The Motherhood Project workshop, presented in relation to the film featured a live dance performance with Baker accompanying Helen’s choreography with toy piano, electronics, and Indian harmonium, a keyboard instrument that rarely appears on the Western musical concert stage. A sensitive improviser, with experience in a wide array of genres, Elizabeth is a frequent collaborator for Jim Ivy’s Tangled Bell Ensemble and other improvisational projects throughout Florida.
Baker is author of Toyager: A Toy Piano Method, the first comprehensive instructional book for toy piano, featuring principles of technique, practice strategies, music notation, as well as improvisational tactics.
Elizabeth is Founder and Executive Director of The New Music Conflagration, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation founded in the State of Florida to promote the work of contemporary composers and musicians. She is also, Co-Founder and Festival Director of the Florida International Toy Piano Festival.