On reTHiNK, JunctQín Keyboard Collective presents an eclectic collection of piano compositions new and old that vibrantly showcases their broad range. While this trio, comprising Elaine Lau, Joseph Ferretti, and Stephanie Chua, has been performing together for more than a decade, reTHiNK is their debut album; their unfaltering, polished performance is a testament to years of work as a unit.
The album’s whiplash journey through hundreds of years of music subtly highlights the ways different eras and styles fit together. A sense of curiosity and mystery touches each piece, perhaps most exemplified in the juxtaposition of Ravel’s Frontispice for piano five hands and Emily Doolittle’s Sorex (a celebration of untamed shrews). Ravel’s signature explorations of harmonic colour and rich, full-bodied atmospheres are juxtaposed with a series of chaotic lines on Frontispice; those contrasting sounds blend seamlessly into Doolittle’s Sorex (a celebration of untamed shrews), which brings together fast-paced, high-pitched twinkling melodies with an off-kilter, syncopated bass, flowing between intricate ornamentations and placidity.
reTHiNK is a window into the world of modern piano ensemble playing, highlighting its vast sonic possibilities. From the dissonant, postmodernist roller coaster of Alfred Schnittke to the washed-out, pop-infused synthesizers of Elisha Denburg, reTHiNK is a thrilling emblem of JunctQin Keyboard Collective’s wide-ranging work.