With my new recital Cyborg Pianist, I am interested in how live musicians interact with technology. Cyborg Pianistbuilds on my Dark Twintour, which was an entire programme featuring works for piano and multimedia. It also draws on some of the new approaches I’ve discovered in my time as a postdoc researcher, working with a project based at IRCAM in Paris, one of the world’s leading music technology research institutes.
Zubin Kanga performs Cyborg Pianist. Photo by Zal Kanga-Parabia
A lot of the works in Cyborg Pianistfind new ways of highlighting the pianist’s body. The piano requires a lot of agility and strength to play, and the pieces sonify these physical gestures using sensors. They also choreograph me to play the piano in unusual ways, with the electronics providing a theatrical context, or they project my body onscreen, creating a doppelganger that I can interact with in strange and surprising ways.
In choosing the composers for Cyborg Pianist, it was important to me that I admire their work, that we collaborate well, and that they were interested in exploring some combination of piano and technology. The three Australian composers...