Piano Ex Machina – Support the Campaign

Piano Ex Machina is a major new commissioning and touring project, featuring 5 new works by leading Australian composers innovating new approaches to combining a live performer with new technologies. 

Donate HERE

Building on his groundbreaking ‘Dark Twin’ (2015) and ‘Cyborg Pianist’ (2016) international tours, Zubin Kanga’s latest and most ambitous project, Piano Ex Machina, combines cutting edge multimedia technology and piano virtuosity, exploring screen cultures such as film, TV, gaming and internet culture in a mind-blowing hybrid of music and tech.

Computers learn and develop into AI improvising partners, computer game-like control creates funky rhythms out of everyday sounds, a wild improvisation takes flight with the aid of a 3D sensor attached to my hand, stop motion animation creates a quirky tableau, film and music combine in intricate and unexpected ways and a piece is composed by the internet.

With performances planned in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, as well as performances at major festivals and venues in the UK, Germany and Norway, Piano Ex Machina will showcase innovative Australian music on the international stage.

The project features 5 major cutting-edge works by Australian composers

Jon Rose – Ballast, a virtuosic whirlwind of sound with a 3D hand sensor.

Tristan Coelho – City Sound, combining film of hands building and breaking everyday objects in a funky, video game-inspired work.

Kate Neal – Novel Piano, a collaboration with stop-motion animator Sal Cooper to create whimsical work about building a piano from books.

Ben Carey – Taking the Auspices, using AI and 3D scans of objects to create a sophisticated live sound and video interaction with the piano, inspired by the flocking of starlings

Zubin Kanga – Liminal Bodies, using film to explore the bodies and identities of LGBT artists.

Stretch Goals: If the target is exceeded, the funds will go towards two big international commissions: by Michael Finnissy (UK) about queer pianists and by Nicole Lizée (Canada) about the films of Martin Scorsese.

Help Make It Happen
I am raising $10,000 in donations to cover the costs of the project, including:
• Commission fees for the 5 Australian composers
• Performance and touring costs for me and electronics performer, Ben Carey
• Marketing
• Equipment including motion-sensors, microphones and software

How your donation goes twice as far
One other thing: because I’ve been selected to be part of Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH Lab program, every dollar donated will be matched by the federal government. It’s a rare opportunity to double the donations, so your dollar goes twice as far!

Your donation will also be tax-deductible

Although I’ve raised some funds, I need your help to make it a reality.

Donor benefits
– All donors will become part of my donors’ circle, receiving exclusive newsletters and updates.

Donate HERE

Contact Zubin on zrkanga@gmail.com for more info.

Dark Twin tour to Melbourne, Sydney and Perth

For the first time in 3 years, I’m doing an Australian solo tour. Dark Twin features music for piano, electronics and video, with new pieces by Australian composers, Julian Day, Cat Hope and Daniel Blinkhorn and other outstanding music from leading international composers, Stefan Prins, Michel Van Der Aa, Ben Carey and Steve Reich.

Dates/details are:

May 8: Metropolis New Music Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre


May 9: Sydney Conservatorium of Music 


May 22: Totally Huge New Music Festival, Art Gallery of WA (Perth)


The pieces range from working with hand-held radios, to close interaction with film, to multiplying the piano to create walls of sound, to playing through a video game-style avatar, to improvising with an ‘intelligent’ piece of software. For those of you in Sydney, I’ll also be having a little post-concert event, upstairs at the Con, to launch my new CD Piano Inside Out, featuring new works by 7 Australian composers. Hope to see you there.

Also in May

During the tour, I'll be launching my new CD, Piano Inside Out. Featuring new Australian works that explore new extended techniques on the piano, it brings together some of the highlights of my 2011 and 2012 national tours. Works by Elliott Gyger, Nicholas Vines, Daniel Rojas, David Young, Marcus Whale, Rosalind Page and Anthony Moles. There'll be a small party after the Sydney performance on 9 May to celebrate the launch, and everyone is invited! The CD will be available to order from move.com.au

On Saturday 16 May at 8pm, with Daniel Rojas I'll be playing in 'From Tango to Mambo' - two-piano concert of Latin American-influenced music by Bernstein, Gershwin, and Piazzolla. We'll also premiere a brand new work Daniel has written for the two of us called 'La Gran Salsa'! We'll be performing at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith - it's a fun program so please come along!

Premiere of a new piano concerto by Elliott Gyger at Nigel Butterley's 80th Birthday Concert

On 31 October, I'm really excited to be premiering a new piano concerto, 'From Joyous Leaves', by Elliott Gyger (pictured with me), with the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble, conducted by Tim Phillips. It’s a rare privilege to premiere a concerto, and it’s especially special to have one written by Elliott, whose music I have adored for years. The work is a tribute to his teacher, Nigel Butterley, taking all its material from Nigel's classic piano work, Uttering Joyous Leaves. It’s both incredibly beautiful (using selected prepared notes to great effect) as well being full of brilliant virtuosity across the piano and every instrument of the orchestra.

I’ll be performing it as part of 'From Sorrowing Earth', the 80th Birthday Concert for Nigel Butterley in Melbourne next week (which also includes major works by Nigel which are rarely performed). Hope you can join us or tune in on ABC Classic FM the following Wednesday.  

Where: Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Southbank Centre

120-130 Southbank Blvd, Southbank, Melbourne

When: Saturday, 31 October, 7:30 pm

Tickets: Free but book your place here


Future/Retro – Ensemble Offspring's 20th Birthday Concerts

This year marks the 10th year I've been performing with Ensemble Offspring and it also marks the ensemble's 20th Birthday. To celebrate, we're giving not one, but two concerts on the 25th October at the Sydney Conservatorium. Kicking off at 3pm is FUTURE – new work from the best next-gen composers. Then at 6pm RETRO plays some of our favourite works from the last 20 years. In between we celebrate with beer provided by boutique brewer, Willie the Boatman, wine from Robert Oatley, and some fresh Tasmanian water from Aquas. Everyone gets an anniversary tote bag with special gifts from a few of our friends. 

If you want to come, you can get adult tickets at concession prices with the code: EOFRIEND. To go to one concert, that makes it $30, or to attend both, it’s $50 (plus a small booking fee). Book online at https://www.stickytickets.com.au/ensembleoffspring

Chiaroscuro CD Launch

On August 22, I'll be joining soprano, Jane Sheldon, to launch our new CD, Chiaroscuro, featuring works by Australian composers, Rosalind Page and Daniel Rojas, as well as works by George Crumb, Kaija Saariaho and Arnold Schoenberg. We'll also be playing Helmut Lachenmann's major work, Got Lost, a colourful and virtuosic whirlwind of new and exotic sounds. 

Performers: Jane Sheldon, soprano and Zubin Kanga, piano

Where: Sydney Conservatorium, Recital Hall West

When: Saturday, 22 August, 7:30pm

Tickets: $30, $25, $20

Booking via eventbrite


CDs will be available at a discount price at a reception after the performance. Hope you can join us!                 

Other News

In May/JuneJuly, I had a busy period in Europe. Highlights included:

My Cheltenham Festival debut, joining percussionist, Joby Burgess and pianist, Rick Uttley for the premiere of Rolf Hind's Tiger's Nest for percussion, two pianos and gamelan ensemble (pictured) (read the review). 



At IRCAM in Paris, I organised a conference as part of the Manifeste Festival, focussing on innovations in music and gesture. Videos of all the presentations can be found at the IRCAM archive. http://medias.ircam.fr/x500cd5


A panel discussion with conductor, Kelly Lovelady and Lyell Cresswell at the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts in London (read my wrap up here). http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/article/expat-musicians-meet-at-australia-nz-festival-of-literature-and-arts-in-london


A CD launch for Orfordness, featuring the works of British composer, David Gorton. The CD (including a solo piano work and a piano quintet) is available from the Metier website. http://www.divine-art.co.uk/CD/28550info.htm


A great review by composer, Gordon Kerry, of my previous CD, Piano Inside Out.