Duos with Piano: Book I marks the debut release from composer/performer Eric Wubbels, Co-Director and pianist of the essential New York collective Wet Ink Ensemble.

Wubbels's Duos with Piano project encompasses eight works for eight different instruments paired with piano, written over a ten-year period for a network of close collaborators. These pieces aim to develop a 21st-century conception of ensemble virtuosity (now a virtuosity of listening, concentration, timbral fusion, and collaborative decision-making as much as of technique) in the microcosm of the duo format.

Book I includes works for Wet Ink Ensemble core members Ian Antonio (vibraphone), Erin Lesser (flute), Josh Modney (violin), and Alex Mincek (saxophone), each paired with Wubbels on piano. Each piece is the product of an extended period of close collaboration, through phases of experimentation, refinement, rehearsal, performance, revision, memorization, touring, and documentation. The relationships between these musicians span more than a decade, and in performance the resulting interplay feels nearly telepathic.

The four works on the album range from dense, high-tech ensemble virtuosity and psychoacoustic mindfuckery to silence and bare simplicity. Delicate organicism and hyper-detailed timbral interplay cut directly to grinding noise and extended repetition. This is music that strives for a level of intensity rarely found in contemporary composition; bringing extremes into balance and interplay, it speaks with a direct, almost symbolic, impact.