Zubin Kanga Is The Cyborg PIanist: Music At The Cutting edge Of Innovation

Cyborg pianist Zubin Kanga
Cyborg pianist Zubin Kanga

Award-winning London-based Australian pianist and contemporary music specialist Zubin Kanga returns with Benjamin Carey on live electronics in a program of newly commissioned works for piano and multimedia by some of the hottest composers from Australia and around the world.

Following his acclaimed Dark Twin tour in 2015, Kanga’s 2016 tour, Cyborg Pianist showcases music at the cutting edge of innovation, extending the body of the pianist to do the seemingly impossible, via a vast range of new technologies.

It features a range of leading Australian and international composers, all exploring new ways of extending the capabilities of a pianist using interactive multimedia. Patrick Nunn’s Morphosis uses 3D motion sensors attached to the pianists’ hands to shape the electronic sound in a work he describes as “Boulez meets The Matrix”.

Johannes Kreidler assembles videos of the pianist to create an orchestra of Doppelgangers. Nicole Lizée tunnels into key moments in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic films, drawing on DJ techniques to create a series of dreamlike and obsessive studies. Marcus Whale combines doom metal with aerial drone footage to explore remote Australian landscapes. Damien Ricketson pries open and submerges a piano work by Erik Satie in The Day After Drowning. Neil Luck creates a sci-fi vision of the future with mutant pianists. Adam de la Cour inserts the pianist into old hand-transplant-horror films. Finally, Kate Moore’s Bestiary is an electrified virtuoso epic, with the hands and feet of the pianist pushed to their limits.

A specialist in contemporary classical music, Zubin won the 2012 APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award for ‘Performance of the Year’, the Michael Kieran Harvey Scholarship and the Limelight Award for Best Newcomer in 2010. His recent recordings include Not Music Yet (Hospital Hill Recordings), Orfordness (Metier) and Piano Inside Out (Move Records), which was nominated for Best Classical Album at the Australian Independent Music Awards.

Zubin is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nice and IRCAM, Paris as well as Research Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he completed his PhD. His research on new approaches to performer-technology interactions is published widely.

He has collaborated with many of the world’s leading composers including Thomas Adès, Michael Finnissy, George Benjamin, Steve Reich, Beat Furrer, Ross Edwards, Nigel Butterley, and Elliott Gyger and premiered more than 60 works. He is a member of Ensemble Offspring, winner of a 2016 Art Music Award for ‘Excellence by an Organisation’, and has also performed with the Bang-on-a-Can Allstars, Ensemble Plus-Minus, Endymion Ensemble, the Kreutzer Quartet, Halcyon and Synergy Percussion, as well as performing piano duos with Rolf Hind and Thomas Adès.

The programme:


Marcus Whale (Australia) – Frontier for piano, electronics and video (2016) (World premiere)
Damien Ricketson (Australia) – The Day after Drowning for piano and live electronics (2016) (World premiere)
Johannes Kreidler (Germany) – Study for piano, electronics and video (2011) (Australian premiere)
Neil Luck (UK) – 2018 for piano and electronics (2016) (Australian premiere)
Adam de la Cour (UK) – Transplant the Movie! for piano, electronics and video (2016)  (Australian premiere)
Nicole Lizée (Canada) – Hitchcock Etudes (Australian premiere)
Patrick Nunn (UK) – Morphosis for piano, 3D sensors and live electronics (2014)
Kate Moore (Australia) – Bestiary for piano, digital pedals and live electronics (2016) (World premiere)

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