On Saturday, April 2, I’ll perform an excerpt of Potential Energies, a ballet for musicians and dancers, with the original choreographer of the piece, Barbie Diewald, and premiere a new 6-minute piece called Test Site 1: (In)Habit, an experiment in process that I created with choreographer Coco Karol. All the music for the program is composed by Trevor Gureckis. In PE I’ll be playing the piano in the usual way (for the most part) and perform with Barbie, while in Test Site 1 I’ll be completely dancer-less but I will have a handheld projector and approach the piano in weird/wrong/unconventional ways. Over the past two years, I’ve been interested in exploring how musicians can use their entire bodies in performance, both the possibilities and the limitations , partly because I’m obsessed with dance, and also because I’m inspired by the amazing group I work with at NCP who are not only skilled instrumentalists but amazing performers in general.
I’m not gonna lie, this is a tricky thing to investigate because there’s always the danger of the cheese factor and things just not coming across effectively, of the work looking contrived or just straight up stupid. It’s not the most poetic or eloquent way to describe my self-consciousness, but it’s what goes through my mind, constantly. In creating Test Site 1, I wanted to immerse myself in a process (=3 hours in the studio every week since the beginning of February), get out of my comfort zone and let go of my judgmental mind, and create a solo work, which I plan to do more of in the coming years.
I won’t say too much about Test Site 1, because I can’t, because it’s an experiment, but it does revolve around the body, nature, urban life, & obligation (in this case, the piano), drawing connections & acknowledging tension between these elements. Tickets for the performance are here. In the meantime, below are behind-the-scenes photos!