Transcendent Pianos Festival
16 – 18 September 2016
Moscow, MUZEON Park of Arts

Organized by:
SDV Arts & Science Foundation
Laboratoria Art&Science Foundation
Igor Butman Foundation for Supporting Musical Arts

Daria Parkhomenko (Russia)

Petr Aidu (Russia)
Olga Kroitor (Russia)
Electroboutique art-group (Russia)
Jan Kalnberzin (Russia)
::vtol:: (Russia)
Oleg Makarov (Russia)
Alexander Kaplan (Russia)

Orchestra of Igor Butman (Russia)
Vladimir Nesterenko (Russia)
Oleg Akkuratov (Russia)
Anton Baronin (Russia)
Polina Osetinskaya (Russia)
Valery Grokhovsky (Russia)


The Transcendent Pianos Festival was organized to create a new space for dialogue between music, contemporary art and new technology.

Transcendence means to break out of the limits: of one’s dedicated space, of pre-assigned functions, of disciplinary borders and even of oneself. Pianos step out of the concert halls and into the Muzeon park. They haven’t simply changed the location, though: transcending the common image of this most popular classical instrument – the pianos acquire a new dimension.

Four interdisciplinary projects on the verge of contemporary art, music and technology were created specially for the Festival; they aim to expand the sensory experience of the visitors and enhance their connection with the city space. All artworks are interactive and invited audience participation.

A piano seems to be the most classical of all the classical musical instruments. Maybe this is why it has long been sparking destructive tendencies in the artists: smash it, burn it, nail the keys down, rip out the strings (John Cage’s works for prepared pianos, Boyce’s and Dada experiments, Chiharu Shiota’s burned pianos). Modern technologies allow the artists to interact with the “body” and the sound of a piano and to reinvent its cultural status without destroying it. It is no longer an object of frustration but an intensely relatable thing, almost a living being.

Human brain has a complex relationship with music. Brain activity corresponding to listening, performing, and creating music has long been a point of interest for neuroscience. We are in the particular stage in the universal time continuum when traditional disciplinary borders between science, art, technology, philosophy wear thin; transgressive science/art practices encourage the creation of new instruments of knowledge.

Together with the Igor Butman Orchestra, musicians were invited to participate in the event – Vladimir Nesterenko, Oleg Akkuratov, Anton Baronin, Polina Osetinskaya, Valery Grokhovsky. Together with artists, scientists and roboticists, they explored and created new models for the interaction of instruments and music.

The theme of this year’s festival, proposed by the curator of the project Daria Parkhomenko, is hybridization: the combination of dissimilar materials, fields and technologies. Hybrids combine the properties of living and non-living, natural and handcrafted, practice and object, human and non-human. Combined with modern technology, the piano becomes a window into a new space of dialogue between science, society, music and contemporary visual arts. Piano hybridization occurs in two aspects: form and sound. Instruments take root and flourish, they are unrecognizably “dissected” by artists, turning into new musical instruments, their music is woven from the noises and sounds of the metropolis.

The Festival expresses its gratitude for assistance in the preparation of the Festival to the “Diamond World” company and personally to Sergey Ulin.

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