- Wednesday Noon Hours
- MEGUMI MASAKI || TRANSFORMATION
MEGUMI MASAKI || TRANSFORMATION
MEGUMI MASAKI || TRANSFORMATION: a celebration of human resilience, calls to action, and transformational experiences.
TRANSFORMATION presents three interactive piano + multimedia works that reimagine the piano and pianist’s artistic expression through new technologies, and transform the listener’s concert to an immersive, emotional and cinematic experience. This program explores new models of interaction between sound, image, text and movement to augment the piano and its surrounding space as a visual as well as musical instrument. TRANSFORMATION hopes to engage a wide audience in impactful and transformational experiences that motivate dialogue and action.
Megumi Masaki is a pianist, multimedia performing artist, educator and curator. She is recognized as an innovator that reimagines the piano, pianist and performance space. Her work pushes boundaries of interactivity between sound, image, text and movement in multimedia works through new technologies, including hand-gesture-motion tracking to generate and control live-electronics and live-video, AI, 3D visuals, keyboard-controlled computer game, e-textile sensors and infra-red tracking. Megumi is featured at major festivals and venues across North America, Europe and Asia. Over 70 original piano+multimedia works have been created for/together with Megumi and she has premiered over 150 works worldwide. Megumi is a Professor of piano and director of the New Music Festival and Ensemble at Brandon University. She is also the Artistic Director of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition and on faculty at the Casalmaggiore International Festival Italy, Chetham’s International Summer School Manchester UK, Musiktage am Rhein Germany and the Banff Centre. In 2022, Megumi was appointed to the Order of Manitoba and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
PIANO GAMES (2020) for piano, hand tracking and interactive video game by Keith Hamel. Piano Games is the third in a series of interactive works written for pianist Megumi Masaki. It is the first live video game controlled by the pianist and piano. In this work, the pianist, in addition to performing on her instrument and having sounds enhanced through digital audio processing, is also controlling a video game. The video game responds to the sounds of the piano and the positions of the hands on the keyboard. Within the game, the player is able to explore and interact with a variety of environments – some are in outer space and are hostile, and others are more colorful and evocative graphical worlds. At times, the pianist can make physical gestures with her hands to interact with the visual world. Piano Games represents a new kind of art form that merges the worlds of live music performance, interactive computer music and video games. The listener is transported to new worlds of beauty, fire and peace – unique and different for each performance.
ORPHEUS (1) (2018) for piano, toy piano, Roli Seaboard Grand synthesizer, poetry by Margaret Atwood, and voice by T. Patrick Carrabré. Orpheus (1) completes a cycle of three works for piano and electronics for Megumi Masaki. Each is based on a different perspective of the Orpheus myth. Orpheus (1) challenges the Orpheus myth as a love story through the perspective of Eurydice. She has passed on to the underworld and Orpheus believes he can use his talents to trick fate and bring his wife back to life. But what if she doesn’t want to come back to this world? Why should Orpheus get to decide?
Dōshite? どうして? for piano, SHRUG (Sensory Hand Responsive User Garment), voice, movement, images (2021). Performed by Megumi Masaki (piano) and Bob Pritchard (music/software/video). This piece honours and commemorates over 22,000 Canadians of Japanese heritage sent to internment camps in 1942 during WWII. With the permission of editor Roy Miki, text from Tsukiye Muriel Kitagawa’s book, This Is My Own, has been incorporated into the piece, along with fragments of Japanese songs, connecting audiences with this particular Japanese-Canadian experience in Canadian history. The piece explores the disruption to – and the resilience of – Japanese-Canadian communities of that time, and is offered as a form of apology.
Costume by Alaia Hamer, sensors by Bob Pritchard, wifi communications by Daniel Tsui, Jin Han, Carol Fu, Esther Mutinda, Lily Shao. The creation of this work is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Below Megumi Masaki performs Ice is water is ice is by Ken Steen and Gene Gort