Kelly Moran Performances in Tin Drum: Medusa

Please note that Tin Drum: Medusa is experienced through optically transparent mixed reality headsets, which will be available by through an in-person waitlist at the event. The headsets are not recommended for guests under the age of 13, and will not fit over worn prescription eyewear.

Acclaimed pianist and composer Kelly Moran will activate Tin Drum: Medusa through a live, durational performance series. The artist will perform on Yamaha’s Disklavier ENSPIRE PRO reproducing grand piano throughout the course of six hours, on four Saturdays during the run of the exhibition.

For this presentation of Medusa at Pioneer Works, the Brooklyn-based composer has written new music on a Yamaha Disklavier inspired by legendary composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Her work expands upon the score that Sakamoto originally composed for Medusa's first iteration, which spatialized and combined recordings of undersea drones. Moran will also activate the exhibition through a live, durational performance series, taking place over the course of five hours on Saturdays, March 25, and April 1, 8, and 15.

Of the performances, Moran notes, “In early 2020, Yamaha Artist Services generously loaned me a Disklavier piano, which is commonly known as a player piano. This piano allows me to record my playing and then listen to the piano play it back with precise expressive accuracy.

When the pandemic hit, I found myself isolated at home with this instrument and quickly discovered it was the perfect duet partner. As a pianist, it was incredibly inspiring to work with an instrument that could expand my own physical limitations. I went wild writing patterns and arpeggios that were inhumanly fast, while I played simple melodies and chords underneath them. I wrote clusters with so many notes that my ten fingers couldn't play them all, or chords spaced out so widely that I'd need multiple hands to reach them. Working with this instrument made me feel like I was able to clone myself as a pianist, and then give my clone steroids. The Disklavier has opened up a new realm of creativity for me with writing for piano that I am inspired to continue exploring.”

Medusa, directed by scientist Yoyo Munk, is an ambitious project developed by media collective Tin Drum in collaboration with architect Sou Fujimoto. Bridging art, science, music, and technology, it comprises a unique and evolving mixed reality experience that envelopes visitors within a new realm of physicality, visuality, and sound.

Viewed through optically transparent glasses, Medusa imposes thousands of hanging vertical columns onto the Main Hall of Pioneer Works, responding to the collective behavior of the space’s visitors. The experience is paired with a soundscape that pairs underwater recordings with a chord progression, composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, recomposed with new layers and melodies by Kelly Moran, which emanates from a Disklavier piano. As a whole, the experience explores contrasts between individual and collective ways of being, and between non-human and human-made architectures, drawing inspiration from natural structures in the upper atmosphere and the deep sea.

About the Artist

Kelly Moran is a pianist and composer from New York. Her most recent record "Ultraviolet" for prepared piano and electronics was released by Warp Records in 2018. As the main producer for her solo albums, her intricately arranged electro-acoustic compositions have been described as accomplishing "the rare feat of making the work of a single individual sound like the artistic output of a veritable creative army." As a collaborator, she has worked with a wide array of artists, including FKA Twigs, Margaret Leng-Tan, Kelsey Lu, Yves Tumor, Malibu, Oneohtrix Point Never, and The Avalanches. Moran’s next album, a set of compositions for Disklavier, is set to be released in Fall 2023.

Tin Drum: Medusa is supported in part by Yamaha Artist Services New York, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.