Nicola Melville looks to set the stage ablaze, which is something she has done in the past — quite literally.
“There’s this actual piece called ‘Piano Burning,’ and you set fire to a piano,” explained Melville, who is performing at the second faculty artist recital this year from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.
“We brought this woman who conceived this piece to campus, so that we gave it some academic teeth. It wasn’t kind of the excitement of ‘Woo, let’s burn stuff!’ It was more like, ‘What does this mean?’ and ‘What are we trying to prove by this sort of thing?’ ” she said. “And you would be amazed by how many people who were upset by this, mostly people who were not really connected to the piano at all. Other piano faculty that I knew — they didn’t care.”