How the hell do you play a watercolour? Just one of many new music challenges faced by pianist Zubin Kanga
Collaborating with composers on new works is the most exciting, challenging and rewarding aspect of my life as a performer. There’s nothing quite like creating a piece collaboratively from scratch; discussing ideas and influences; creating new techniques together; testing out the piece as it grows;
and then, finally, creating a little bit of history when you perform the world premiere.
Rosalind Page and I first discussed a new piece back in 2007, but Being and Time II: Tabula Rasareally took shape last year after she encountered the work of Australian painter Imants Tillers. After meeting Imants at his studio outside Cooma, NSW, Rosalind and Imants decided to weave their work together. Rosalind would take inspiration from the words, shapes and landscapes of his multi-layered painting, Tabula Rasa, and Imants would include some of Rosalind’s notation into this painting. Rosalind’s work draws on the folksongs of Imants’ Latvian heritage and echoes the painter’s preoccupation with landscape and memory.
Since meeting Marcus Whale when he was a first-year undergraduate, I’ve watched him grow into one of the leading figures...