I recently had the pleasure to chat with the Brisbane Music Festival artistic director, Alex Raineri, on our upcoming concert: New Sounds. We discuss my new work for Alex and Kupka’s Piano, Nest of gravel, which will be premiered tonight (Oct 10th, 2020, 6pm AEST), alongside an array of topics including musical education, noise, politics in music, lockdown, and digital content in the world of Covid-19.
Nest of gravel is a rather intense exploration of highly tactile and granular sounds, with the performers movement restricted over the physical regions of the piano as the keyboard, pedal and strings rattle, scrape, and grind against each other. This confinement of movement naturally resonates with many who have experienced in lockdown. There is a sort of repetitive, agitated, claustrophobia in this work as scratching and rubbing gets under your skin. On this, I make this point:
For some, lockdown has meant resort-like living, unburdened by financial worry. For others, it has entailed police presence, cage-like confinement, and an amplification of already tenuous socio-economic conditions. The detainment of refugees, political prisoners, and minorities has been a reality of society well before 2020 and it must be remembered that what many have experienced recently is but a drop in the ocean of what systematic and weaponised confinement entails.