Australian pianist and contemporary music specialist, Zubin Kanga performs the Australian premiere of Piano Ex Machina, a program of ground-breaking works for piano and multimedia by some of the hottest composers from around the world.
Following his acclaimed 2015 Dark Twin and 2016 Cyborg Pianist tours, the award-winning London-based Kanga returns to Australia this April to perform newly commissioned works exploring video games, internet culture, 80s action cinema, sci-fi, 3D motion sensors, interactive visuals, analogue synths, stop-motion animation and Artificial Intelligence.
The programme includes the Australian premiere, of German composer Alexander Schubert’s new work, Wiki-piano.net, a work created via a website that allows the public to compose and edit the score, just like a Wikipedia article, creating a constantly evolving work that explores internet culture. No two performances are the same! The performance also feature new works by some of today’s most pioneering composers for music and multimedia, including five Australians:
- Jon Rose, composer and improviser, who creates a wild virtuosic whirlwind of sound with a 3D hand sensor
- Kate Neal who collaborates with stop-motion animator Sal Cooper to create a whimsical exploration of the kinship between cars and pianos
- Tristan Coelho who combines film of rhythmic scenes from around the city in a funky, video game-inspired work
- Ben Carey who uses AI and 3D scans of objects to create a sophisticated live sound and video interaction with the piano, inspired by the flocking of starlings and
- Zubin Kanga himself, who has created a series of elusive multimedia portraits of friends and musical colleagues, with sound and image in counterpoint.
From the UK, Adam de la Cour (UK) continues his wacky series of B-movie style works, this time recreating scenes from 1980s spy and action movies, with the secret agent going undercover as a cocktail pianist to infiltrate the sinister Steinway Clan.
Program: ALEXANDER SCHUBERT (Germany) – WIKI-PIANO.NET/KATE NEAL (Australia) – Novel Piano/TRISTAN COELHO (Australia) – Rhythm City/JON ROSE (Australia) – Ballast/ZUBIN KANGA (Australia/UK) – Transformations/BENJAMIN CAREY (Australia) – Taking the Auspices/ADAM DE LA COUR (UK) – Transplant the Movie 2!: Operation ‘Re-Rise’ Dark Return
Zubin Kanga’s Piano Ex Machina also tours to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth
Zubin Kanga is a pianist, composer, improviser and technologist. Over the last decade he has established himself in Europe and Australia as a leader of new approaches to the piano. His recent work has focused on new models of interaction between the musician and new technologies, using film, AI, motion capture, 3D modelling, animation and virtual reality.
Zubin has performed at many international festivals including the BBC Proms, London Contemporary Music Festival, the Sydney Festival (Australia), and has collaborated with many of the world’s leading composers including Thomas Adès, Michael Finnissy, George Benjamin, Steve Reich and Liza Lim premiering more than 100 new works. He is a member of Ensemble Offspring. As a composer, his solo piano works have been performed at the Waterloo and Bangor Festivals and broadcast on the BBC and ABC. He recently premiered a new viola and piano work with Brett Dean at Extended Play Festival in Sydney.
A Masters and PhD graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, Zubin recently finished a post as post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nice and IRCAM, Paris and is currently the Leverhulme Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London, writing a book on musician-technology interactions.