Before they got married, pianists Scott and Clare Meek did not perform together.
The two had extensive solo performance careers, and both keep busy careers (Scott as a collaborative pianist and Clare as a busy piano teacher), but since getting married, they’ve performed exclusively as a duo. According to Clare, they did their first duo performance at the request of a concert organizer, and enjoyed it so much they decided not to stop.
“It’s just more fun,” said Scott.
The couple debuts as a duo Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m. in St. Paul’s United Church (2410 Malaview Ave.) in Sidney.
Their repertoire spans the classical as well as salsa and tango. Many of their arrangements were made in the last five or 10 years, with one just a few months ago. Some of the tangos, originally written for orchestras or other ensembles, were arranged for four-hand piano by Kyoko Yamamoto, a Japanese composer that has been communicating with the Meeks via Facebook. Learning the new arrangements inspired Scott to compose arrangements of his own, which he will debut in the near future.
Scott typically plays the piano’s upper registers, which suits Clare just fine (“I like the bass,” she said with a laugh.) They also have to be aware of each other’s volume, as whoever is carrying the melody cannot be overpowered.
Their trademarks include “special moves not written in the music,” like sound effects and acrobatics. It began, Clare said, with a piece that asked for the performers to stomp.
“We thought it’d be too quiet for the audience to hear, so we came up with this move,” said Clare. Neither of them wanted to spoil the surprise. “Then we thought to incorporate it into the tangos as well.”
As with any marriage, communication is key.
“Often we have to cross hands, or put one hand on top of the other, so we have to decide which one goes on top and which one goes under,” said Claire.
“If we forget to decide sometimes we bump into each other,” said Scott.
Tickets are $20 and available at the door.