— Winner Composition Prize PianoFest Amsterdam 2019 —
About my music
About my music
I am a self-taught composer. Prompted through guided intuition, I began composing at the age of 18. All music on this website is performed by myself or my husband, Gustavo Corrales Romero.
As of 1999 when I met Gustavo - who is also my teacher, partner and rolemodel - I began to appreciate the importance of the pursuit of excellence. This affected my composition as well as the interpretation of my own pieces. Also, it became an ambition to write pieces that he would be interested to play.
Along the way, I would sometimes be inspired to write pieces for other people. And I also began to 'hear' pieces for ensembles. This resulted in a four-tier repertoire of more than 50 pieces that I've written for myself, for Gustavo and for others, and some tentative chamber music.
I was very excited to record the demo 'A Taste Of' in 2011, when we were at the Power Sound Studio in Amsterdam to record Gustavo's 2nd CD 'Fresco', between his sessions, when he needed to take a break. The version of Immeram here is the original, unedited, fifth recording of the piece. You can hear my delight at doing it in one take at the end of it.
The intention was to begin making a record of my pieces and to test my recording abilities in anticipation of the minimum three CDs I plan to record. The test was a great success in that I proved I was capable of making studio recordings (this is a different kind of pressure than during live performance) with a good outcome.
Gustavo and I had set as a condition for recording and reproduction of these pieces that the quality would be good enough. So, although these pieces will be re-recorded in their final form on a commercial CD, we are happy about being able to publish a fair representation of my work.
In general, it can be said, that some of the final recordings will be executed at a bit faster pace. A Taste Of was produced in a very limited edition of only 25 copies and distributed to a very select few.
As a whole, the recording of the pieces included here constitute a great personal achievement for me as a pianist, particularly since this was the very hectic year 2011 in which we also held a student concert, produced Fresco, organized a big CD launch concert and officialized the company under the name KyG Productions with all that that entailed; finding a bookkeeper, dealing with the Chamber of Commerce and initiating a more professional administration. All of this while I still held a demanding 32-hour employed position.
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"This is truly a feat. There is another composer who tried, the waltz, and that is Ravel. But Karen takes it further; it sits on the edge of what is possible. And the beauty of it is that anyway you can still dance to it. "
Writer Jan Brokken, author of 'Why 11 Antilleans kneeled for the heart of Chopin', also comparing Karen to Wim Statius Muller in her attempt to renew the traditional Antillean waltz and make it contemporary, with Sarabandio as the exciting result.
Full transcript in English and Dutch
"Less familiar fare follows with a Soledad and a more complex Sarabandio by Arubian composers Juan C. Lampe, and Karen D. Russel de Corrales respectively, who clearly deserve to be better known."
From FRESCO CD review by Ray Picot from
The Iberian and Latin American Music Society (ILAMS)
“Interesting compositions and played with conviction.
Nice variety and articulation in characters.”
“Contrasting pieces falling nicely on the ears. Flashy rhythm in the second!”•
“Nice compositions with interesting rhythms.”
• ‘El Sonajero’ (The Sound maker).