Zubin Kanga

Wiki Piano

Zubin Kanga (photo, Raphael Neal)

Alexander Schubert, WIKI-PIANO.NET (2018) Irish Premiere
Fergal Dowling, Fake Piano* (2021) World Premiere
Scott McLaughlin, In the unknown, there is already a script for transcendence** (2018) Irish Premiere
Michael Finnissy/Adam de la Cour
, Hammerklavier** (Part 2) (2021) World Premiere
Nicole Lizée, Scorsese Etudes (2018 rev. 2021) World Premiere

Date: 8pm 8/11/21
Duration: c. 1 hour

This programme contains depictions of nudity, violence and drug-taking

Australian pianist and new music adventurer Zubin Kanga performs in Dublin for the first time. A champion of collaboration and new music commissioning, Zubin performs a highly personal programme entirely of works he personally commissioned for piano and electronics.

In this concert, Zubin Kanga performs piano and multimedia works exploring internet culture, classic cinema, historical pianists, magnetic resonators and electronic doppelgängers.

Alexander Schubert’s WIKI-PIANO.NET uses a website to allow the audience to co-compose the work especially for each performance – the audience can link to sound files, youtube videos, change text and instructions, just like a Wikipedia page, creating a work that reflects the memes and internet obsessions at the time of each performance.

Fergal Dowling pairs the piano with an interactive electronic twin, increasing in complexity until the divisions between real and fake break down.

Scott McLaughlin uses modified e-bows and magnetic resonators to create strange, gradually morphing otherworldly sounds. Hammerklavier, a collaboration between composer Michael Finnissy and filmmaker Adam de la Cour is based on Finnissy’s memories of a live performance by the great pianist Sviatoslav Richter in 1975, as well as Richter’s secretive queer life. The work transforms each movement of Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’ sonata, with de la Cour’s film drawing on documentary footage of Richter, experimental film techniques of the 50s and 60s, as well as vintage gay erotica from this era. Part 2 of the work (transforming the first two movements of Beethoven’s sonata) receives its World Premiere in this concert.

And Nicole Lizée’s celebrated Criterion Collection works use loops and glitches to transform key scenes, creating obsessive homages to great filmmakers. This recital features the revised version of her set focused on the films of Martin Scorsese, drawing on iconic scenes from Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and The Wolf of Wall Street.


"Zubin Kanga is an excellent pianist who is prising open a wormhole into the future of the piano -- inside and out." (Charles McInnes, Words on Sound)

Zubin Kanga is a pianist, composer, improviser and technologist. He is a leading innovator of new approaches to the piano, with recent work focusing on new interactions between piano and film, live electronics, AI, motion sensors, video-game control, 3D animation and virtual reality.

Zubin has performed at many international festivals and international venues including the BBC Proms, London Contemporary Music Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) Melbourne Festival (Australia), Festival Présences (France), Klang Festival (Denmark), Podium Festival (Germany), Resonator Festival (Sweden), November Music (Netherlands), CUBE, Graz (Austria), and Borealis Festival (Norway).

Recent collaborations include those with Alexander Schubert on his internet-based WIKI-PIANO.NET, which has been performed in 21 cities, with Nicole Lizée on her Scorsese Etudes, the latest in her auteur focused Criterion Collection creating studies out of the sonic and visual materials of selected scenes, with Michael Finnissy and Adam de la Cour’s Hammerklavier, combining transformed Beethoven with vintage gay erotica, and with Philip Venables on an upcoming concert-length work using pianos, keyboards, electronics and video to explore the life of artist David Wojnarowicz, and his experience of the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York.

After graduating from the University of Sydney and the Royal Academy of Music, Zubin was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nice and IRCAM (Paris) and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he is now Lecturer in Musical Performance and Digital Arts. He is also the director of Cyborg Soloists a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship-funded project exploring new music-technology collaborations between artists and industry.

* Commissioned by Zubin Kanga with the support of the Arts Council commission award.
** Commissioned with the support of Arts Council England.
Zubin Kanga's work as composer, performer and researcher is supported by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.