Player Piano is an interdisciplinary performance created as part of the research project ‘Performance, Subjectivity and Experimentation’, led by Catherine Laws, at the University of York and the Orpheus Research Centre in Music, Ghent. The performance is a collaboration between Catherine (as the performer), composers Edward Jessen, Annea Lockwood, Roger Marsh and Paul Whitty, theatre maker Teresa Brayshaw and film maker Wendy Kirkup, with Hannah Butterfield as an additional performer.
The project explores the complex make-up of the performing self: the apparently individual self as a site of multiple, distributed subjectivity.
The performance playfully explores different the performer’s creative personae, the relationship to the piano and its history, and the embodied sense of self at the instrument.
A woman arrives with a piano.
She plays. Plays this piano. Plays with it.
Plays versions of herself through it
But she also has company. Other voices.
Composers; teachers; the ghosts of other pianists.
Memories of other pianos: big shiny grands and clapped out old uprights.
Others hers, with younger hands, looser shoulders, a lighter, more flexible body.
Touch and Go (full video)