Thursday 13 October 2022, 8pm
- Nina Whiteman – Cybird Cybird
- Nwando Ebizie – I Will Fix Myself (Just Circles) (World Premiere)
- Zubin Kanga – Steel on Bone
- Neil Luck – New Work (World Premiere)
- Neil Luck – Whatever Weighs You Down (UK Premiere)
Zubin Kanga / piano and multimedia
Neil Luck / misc.
Pianist, composer and technologist Zubin Kanga performs the UK-premiere of Whatever Weighs You Down, Neil Luck’s new 40-minute work for piano, electronics, two videos, and MiMU sensor gloves.
Whatever Weighs you Down is an intense and bizarre meditation on weights, senses, inertia, and dreams. It features Deaf performance artist Chisato Minamimura as an onscreen co-performer in an intense gestural dialogue with Kanga’s piano and sonified movements using the MiMU gloves, as well as composer-performer James Oldham as a chaotic second onscreen protagonist.
The event will also feature a solo performance by Luck, and Kanga will perform a set featuring his own work and world premieres by Nina Whiteman and Nwando Ebizie, combining the piano with a Moog synthesizer, and sensor technology from Movesense and Holonic Systems.
All the works in this event have been created as part of Zubin Kanga’s Cyborg Soloists music-technology research project, supported by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Pianist, composer, and technologist Zubin Kanga is at the forefront of curating and creating interdisciplinary musical programmes which seek to explore and redefine what it means to be a performer through interactions with new technologies. In 2020, following his appointment as Lecturer in Musical Performance and Digital Arts at Royal Holloway University, Kanga was awarded a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship, funding a 4-year research project, Cyborg Soloists. As Director and Principal Investigator, Kanga, together with a host of collaborators, is unlocking new possibilities in music making through interactions with AI and machine learning; interactive visuals and VR; motion and biosensors; and new digital and hybrid instruments.
Commissioning and co-creating new works is at the centre of his practice: recent highlights include Alexander Schubert’s internet-based score WIKI-PIANO.NET, which has been performed 27 times across nine-countries, Nicole Lizée’s Scorsese Etudes which remixes scenes from the director’s films, Luke Nickel’s hhiddeenn vvoorrttiicceess, combining AI electronics/visuals, haptic metronomes and rollercoasters, and Philip Venables’ Answer Machine Tape, 1987, which explores the AIDS crisis through a crucial week in the life of New York artist David Wojnarowicz, using an experimental KeyScanner to allow the piano to type text onto a screen like a typewriter. He has performed over 130 world premières, and performed across the UK, Europe and Australia including at hcmf//, London Contemporary Music Festival, BBC Proms, Festival Présences (France), Klang Festival (Denmark), Darmstadt (Germany), Time of Music Festival (Finland), Borealis Festival (Norway), and Melbourne Festival (Australia).
Neil Luck is a composer, performer, and director based in London. His work often explores the pathos and interaction between live human performance and multimedia, and attempts to frame the act of music making as something curious, or weird, or useful, or spectacular in and of itself. His work takes a range of forms from music-theatre, to concert works, radio, public projects and recordings.
Neil is the founder and director of the music-theatre ensemble ARCO, and a co-founder of artist cooperative squib-box. Independently, he has also worked with and written for a people and ensembles in the UK and abroad, and presented work at music venues, festivals, and galleries internationally including the ICA, Whitechapel Gallery, MATA Festival (NYC), Tate Britain, Tate Modern, BBC Proms, Palais de Tokyo (Paris), in Vilnius and Aarhus Capital of Culture festivals, and the Tokyo Experimental Festival.
Nina Whiteman is a vocalist, composer and multimedia artist based in Manchester, UK. Her work engages with ideas of lostness (including a series of maze-inspired compositions) as well as ecological concerns (such as current creations for Zubin Kanga’s UKRI-funded Cyborg Soloists project). Recent commissions have been from the Royal Opera House (developing an opera with writer Nadifa Mohamed) and Riot Ensemble. Nina is vocalist and co-director of Trio Atem and Artistic Director of Manchester Contemporary Youth Opera. She teaches at the RNCM, and is Reader in Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London.
An unclassifiable polymath, British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Nwando fabulates speculative fictions and alternate realities at the intersection of live art, experimental music and multi-sensory installation. She proposes new myths, rituals and provocations for perceptual change, radical care and transformation of the self and community, drawing from science fiction, Black Atlantic ritual cultures, biophilia, neuroscience, her own neurodivergency and Nigerian heritage.
Awards include: An Ivor Novello nomination, an Oram Award, and the Steve Reid Innovation award. Her debut album was released in 2022 on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Records to critical acclaim.
Commissions include compositions for London Sinfonietta, Aurora Orchestra, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Opera North and Sky Arts.
Her work including live art gigs, sound art installations and curated happenings, has been performanced at Barbican, Southbank Centre, Wellcome Collection, Tempo Festival (Rio de Janeiro), Hepworth Wakefield, Melbourne Science Gallery, Tate Britain, Art/Science Museum, Singapore.