Whether the random sounds actually created music is another question, and one that is hard to answer on just one hearing. It's safe to say, though, that there was little memorable about the piece, save the technique that created it.
Technique took a back seat to making music in another of the evening's six pieces: Sonata All' Rondo (1981) by Vyacheslav Artyomov, a Russian composer little known in this country. The opening lyrical sax lines, played by Taylor, were shaped with a sense of purpose and based on a not-too-strong tonal center. Artyomov goes heavy on the dissonance, but the underlying ideas are strong, and harmonies in the piano part looking back to Debussy flavor it nicely.
Though pianist Samuel Hsu didn't play during the sax cadenza, Taylor's notes brought out ghostly sympathetic resonances in the piano strings - a stunning effect.
Before playing, pianist David Holzman told the audience frankly that he disagreed with Brian Fennelly about how to play the composer's Paraphrasis (1991). "I'm playing it how I want," he said. "The piece to me has a certain Latin quality, so much so that I hear the second movement as the Ravel Bolero."
Perhaps Holzman somehow heard the manic flourishes in the first movement, titled "Exhilaration," as rhythmically inspired by Latin music. But in the second movement, "Murmurs, whispers . . . ," what could he have heard as a Bolero? Most of the movement is concerned with playing a few chords, then leaning into the body of the piano to pluck a note, and then repeating the progression all over again.