Introspective, multi-layered and quietly majestic, composer Jane Antonia Cornish’s Sierra is a vivid meditation on how our deep connection to nature can move us to an inner stillness and awaken the creative impulse.
Sierra consists of five separate pieces composed for multiple pianos, ranging from the poignant solo excursion 'Last Light' to the cascading, undulating ‘Ocean’ and the epic 15-minute title piece. Performed with confidence and commitment by pianist Vicky Chow, whose ability to flex in different interpretive directions, depending on the composer’s intention, is renowned in the modern classical community, Sierra captures a palette of subtle but insistent emotions — wonder, wistfulness, joy and awe — that can elevate and transport with astonishing power.
“I wanted this music to have many layers,” Cornish explains, “but still live in a similar sound world to my previous albums, which are transcendent and peaceful, with a lot of space and a lot of quiet. It’s very textural, but it’s also hard to play, and Vicky had to record with a click to make sure all the parts merged correctly. With any other pianist, I think there would have been multiple challenges, but not with Vicky.”