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‘Transcendental Piano’ Festival Staged by Social Discovery Ventures this September

A new outdoor music exhibition will enable well-known Russian musicians, artists, and scientists to find new ways to explore the interaction between art and technology. A piano has been transformed into an object of technological art with the help of Social Discovery Ventures (SDV), and is available to play in Moscow’s MUZEON Park of Arts. The ‘Transcendental Piano’ Festival will turn Moscow’s MUZEON Park of Arts into a space for experimental music from September 16-18. By moving music away from the traditional setting of concert halls into an urban locale, it opens up exciting new opportunities that break with convention. The festival has been organised by the SDV Art and Science Foundation, which was formed by the International IT company, Social Discovery Ventures. The company actively supports projects dealing with science, the arts, and information technology. Dmitry Volkov, co-founder of SDV, pioneered the concept of the street piano music festival in 2015, when he held an event where contemporary Russian artists turned pianos into examples of art. Instruments appeared on the central streets of Moscow during the festival. Anyone had the opportunity to take on the role of street musician whether an ordinary citizen or renowned classic and jazz artist. This year, the curator of the festival will be Daria Parkhomenko, the founder of LABORATORIA Art and Science – the only centre in Russia that specializes in scientific and technological art. The theme of the upcoming festival is hybridization: the combination of dissimilar materials, areas and technologies. Hybridization combines the qualities of the living and the non-living, the natural and the man-made, practice and object, human and non-human. In combination with modern technologies, a piano becomes a window into a new space of dialogue between the sciences, society, and contemporary visual art. The hybridization of a piano takes place as two aspects – through form and sound. Artists have taken the conventional look and sound of a piano and transformed it into entirely new unrecognisable musical instruments. Some have allowed their instruments to take root and bloom while others have based their music on the sound and noises of the Moscow metropolis. Together with the Igor Butman Foundation for the Support of the Musical Arts, musicians, artists, designers, programmers, robotics engineers and biologists were all invited to participate in the event. They researched and created new modes of interaction between the instrument and music. In the experimental performance, ‘Piano with the Dissected Musician’, the scientific and artistic practices of neurophysiologist Alexander Kaplan and media artist Jan Kalnberzina were closely interwoven. It is a hybrid performance, consisting of pianist and a technical system of visualization, which performs the ‘music of the brain’. The experiment reconstructs the rhythms of brain activity through the musician and the process itself is explored (an aspect that neuroscience still knows very little about). The artist and musician Peter Aidu retains an interest in the mechanics of the piano and for this reason, he dichotomised it to demonstrate the dual nature of the instrument. He will present this through his project, the ‘Double Piano’ – an interactive sound installation, revealing hidden opportunities inside the instrument itself. The art installation ‘Roots’, by artist Olga Croitor, uncovers the piano and merges it with flora, in which the roots will go deep into the ground. Anyone can play these instruments with the help of an embedded system of auto accompaniment, allowing a piece to be played with two hands. The art group Electro Boutique will present the ‘Voice of the City’ – an audio-visual instrument with a three-voice polyphony. Each key of the piano corresponds to a specific sound of the city, which will allow it to perform an incredible melody of the metropolis. The ‘Transcendental Piano’ Festival will open on Friday, September 16 at 19:00 at the MUZEON Park of Arts. The festival program is a unique mixture of music and art performances along with the participation of well-known artists, musicians, and visitors. Admission is free.   Address: MUZEON Park of arts 2, Krymskiy Val Street Dates: September 16-18 Friday: 7 pm – 9 pm Saturday, Sunday: 10 am – 21:00 pm Free admission

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