Michael Torke’s “Chancel” (“Sessions, 3 A.M.”): The Virtue of Simplicity

Chancel is the third single to be released from Sessions, 3 A.M, the latest album by the American composer, Michael Torke. The complete recording will be available in November.

Recorded last May at the Samurai Hotel Studio in Queens, New York, Sessions, 3 A.M features a collection of fifteen brief and atmospheric pieces for solo piano which are performed by the composer. The excerpts that are currently available suggest the magical, nocturnal vibe of an overnight recording session in a city that pauses, but never sleeps.

In the days of Schubert, piano music was a prominent source of domestic entertainment. While Torke’s album functions as a meditative soundtrack, these pieces could renew the joys of live music in the home for countless amateur aficionados.

Expansive and emotionally direct, Chancel draws us in with a majestic, cinematic melody. The simplicity of the music is echoed in the composer’s program note, which includes a quote from the treatise, Simplicity in the Philosophy of Science:

The view that simplicity is a virtue in scientific theories and that, other things being equal, simpler theories should be preferred to more complex ones has been widely advocated in the history of science and philosophy… The claim is that simplicity ought to be one of the key criteria for evaluating and choosing between rival theories… However, simplicity can also be understood in terms of various features of how theories go about explaining nature—for example, a theory might be said to be simpler than another if it contains fewer adjustable parameters, if it invokes fewer extraneous assumptions, or it if provides a more unified explanation of the data.


About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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