- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Brock Tjosvold’s fingers dance like spiders across the keys.

His piano professor, Theresa Bogard, sits on a bench beside him, moving in time with the music.

When Tjosvold sways, Bogard sways; when his head dips, hers does, too - that is, until she touches his shoulder and tells him to stop.

They speak a language perhaps only musicians understand.


“It’s always retaking,” Bogard tells Tjosvold. “It’s, ‘Ba, ba-da, ba, ba, ba-ya-da. . It’s not about tempo; it’s about placement of the pulse. Here it feels very stable, but it feels really dull. . I think you need to take the time to play it, right?

“You always feel like there’s some hysteria, but there’s not. There’s always time to play it. It’s a millisecond, right? Give yourself that millisecond to play it.”

A University of Wyoming music performance major, Tjosvold was preparing to play his senior recital.

The recital is the capstone to his degree. He’s been practicing for it in earnest all year, working a minimum of four hours a day.

In the music, Tjosvold said he finds a range of emotions and a means for connecting with the people around him.

During a recent practice, Tjosvold worked to polish the most difficult portion of his hour-long recital: a sonata by 20th-century Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera.

Bogard, UW Department of Music chair and professor of piano, described the piece as intense and variable, saying it has the power to elicit a range of emotions.

“In the second movement, it’s almost hysteria,” Bogard said. “Sometimes it’s great beauty; sometimes great passion; sometimes anger. It’s very full of extreme emotions. Even the most beautiful movement is very intense, and in the middle part of the most beautiful movement is the part where it feels like you should stab yourself in the chest.”

Tjosvold playing Ginastera’s sonata works well together, Bogard said, because intensity is where Tjosvold shines.

“He excels at showing the musical content of the piece and displaying the emotion that goes with that,” she said. “This piece suits him really well.”

Tjosvold and Bogard have practiced together since Tjosvold arrived at UW roughly four-and-a-half years ago.

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