03. October 2009

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

Mira Calix + Sarah Nicolls Piano – Non Piano – Hyperpiano

Mira Calix: piano, electronics; Sarah Nicolls: piano, electronics

Fragile piano pieces that develop into fine, sometimes melancholic sound trips, are interwoven with electronic miniatures. The curtains between ambient pop and the various concepts of New Music seem to be quite flimsy.

Mira Calix, also known under her original name Chantal Passamonte, and Sarah Nicols move in between different concepts of music. Both play in the London Sinfonietta Orchestra specialised in New Music and performing works by Iannis Xennakis, Luciano Berio, Steve Reich or Marc Anthony Turnage.

Their focus, however, lies on the exploration and development of their sound repertoire at the acoustic piano by the means of mechanistic manipulations or electronic adaptations following the tradition of John Cage and, above all, the composed electronic music on the basis of software especially written for that purpose. Since 2005 Mira Callix and Sarah Nicols have been playing in the trio “Allexis Annexe” together with the sound designer David Sheppard.

Mira Calix, who has toured with pop groups like Radiohead or Aphex Twin, creates melodic textures from mounted samples, from time to time fed with fine noises, that build on piano loops or the singing of a local youth choir. One of their recordings is based on a study about 150 insect sounds. Meanwhile, popular piano player Sarah Nicols is experimenting in contemporary music with several versions of live electronics. Together the two women are moving along a musical tangent routed in classical piano play and reaching all the way to “expanded piano”. Or hyperpiano for that matter.

© Mira Calix & Sarah Nicolls

© Mira Calix & Sarah Nicolls

Mira Calix - Nunu