Album cover, Megumi Masaki, TransformationTransformation Album Cover
Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 19:30

Saturday, Nov. 12, 7:30 pm


Featuring works by University of British Columbia Music faculty members: Keith Hamel, Bob Pritchard, T. Patrick Carrabré, and Ollie Hawker and Katie Muir (Glasgow, Scotland), and Brandon University Music faculty member Megumi Masaki is an innovative pianist, interactive multimedia performing artist, educator and curator.

Multimedia Studio, Alan Wildman Centre for Creative Arts, SoCA, located on Freedom Way across from the Armouries.



About this Event

TRANSFORMATION presents four 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, theatrical, 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.

FILM: There is 30-minute documentary film with the composers about TRANSFORMATION to be included as a pre-concert event or perhaps even online for ticket holders if wished.



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) by Bob Pritchard gives voice and honours 21,000 Canadians of Japanese heritage sent to internment camps in 1942 during WW2. Dōshite? connects audiences with stories about the Japanese-Canadian experience in Canadian history.

AND BLEAK BLEW THE EASTERLY WIND (2022) for piano, live electronics and video by Ollie Hawker (composition), Katie Muir (video) and Megumi Masaki (concept/development)  “And bleak blew the easterly wind is a eulogy for the Sphinx snow patch, Scotland's longest-lasting snow patch. Located on Braeriach in the Cairngorms, the Sphinx only melted away completely three times in the 20th century, but has disappeared five times in the last 20 years. As a visual spectacle, the patch itself is small and humble, but as a symbol of the effects of the current climate emergency it is powerful and saddening.

Whereas a lot of environmental music takes the acoustic instruments as natural forcesto be disrupted by electronic elements, we want to challenge this metaphor by having the electronic element consist of pure, untouched sine tones which are gradually disrupted and overtaken by the piano, the ultimate symbol of Western music and culture. To cast a similar lens on the history of Scottish folk music, the piano material is a torn up, mutilated version of the Scottish traditional tune The Road to Dundee. I love Scottish folk music, but I do think that we have a duty to address its colonial connections and explore how its past is connected to the present day forces involved in the destruction of the world's natural habitats. This particular tune has a clear connection, as Charles Gray, who wrote the lyrics for the song that The Road to Dundeeis based on (Grim Winter Was Howlin', a line from which our title is paraphrased), was a British army captain in the 19th century, at the height of the empire's colonial and industrial power. In framing the tune and the piano as the disruptive force, the piece challenges ideas of the assumed naturalness of folk music.

The video was inspired by Celtic funeral tradition, in which the body of the deceased is kept for seven days so that loved ones can travel from afar and say their goodbyes. First the ice melts, then the fog comes and envelopes the landscape, before it is visited by its old friends: the unpredictable wind, the dramatic rain, the stoic sun and finally the mournful moon.

And bleak blew the easterly wind was written for Megumi Masaki as part of her HEARING ICE project examining global ice melt, and was made possible by funding from Creative Scotland. We would also like to thank Iain Cameron for his help while wewere researching for this piece.” Ollie Hawker



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. 67 original piano+multimedia works have been created for/together with Megumi and she has premiered over 150 work 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.

Keith Hamel is a Professor in the School of Music and an Associate Researcher at the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) at the University of British Columbia. Keith Hamel holds a B.Mus. from Queen's University and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He also studied Computer Music under the supervision of Barry Vercoe at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Keith Hamel has written both acoustic and electroacoustic music and has been awarded many prizes in both media. His works have been performed by many of the finest soloists and ensembles both in Canada and abroad. He has received commissions from IRCAM (Paris), the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver New Music Ensemble, the Elektra Women's Choir, musica intima, New Music Concerts (Toronto), Hammerhead Consort, NuBC, Standing Wave, Hard Rubber Orchestra, as well as from outstanding performers such as flutist Robert Cram, bassoonist Jesse Read, clarinetists Jean-Guy Boisvert and François Houle, saxophonists Julia Nolan and Jeremy Brown, trombonists Jeremy Berkman and Benny Sluchin, and pianists Douglas Finch, Megumi Masaki, Jane Hayes and Corey Hamm. Many of his recent compositions focus on interactions between live performers, computer-controlled electronics and interactive video

T. Patrick Carrabré creates music that is bold. His influences span the globe and cross into popular culture. With multiple JUNO nominations, a recommended work at the International Rostrum of Composers, several WCMA nominations and one award (Best Classical Composition), his music has been heard around the world. Pat has been Dean of Music and Vice-President (Academic & Research) at Brandon University. He has also been composer-in- residence with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and an on-air host for CBC Radio 2.

Bob Pritchard teaches music technology at UBC, and works in acoustic, electroacoustic, and interactive media as well as with film/video, dance, and installation art. He has received several awards and commissions through the Canada Council, the BC Cultural Fund, the Ontario Arts Council and the CBC, and his works are performed and recorded internationally by top performers and ensembles. In 2007, his work Strength received a Unique Award of Merit from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, and his short film Crisis is part of C. Robertson’s cancer documentary 17 Short Films About Breasts, which received five Leo nominations and is in international distribution. His work Synapses for solo oboe, dancer with interactive lightspine, and Max/MSP was the first of the Turning Point Ensemble Covid video commissions for 2020, and his piece Dōshite? recently commissioned by pianist Megumi Masaki for piano and Max/MSP/Jitter makes use of his Sleeve Hand Responsive User Garment (SHRUG) for audio processing and triggering. He is a full researcher with the UBC Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS), a member of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and director of the UBC digital performance ensemble Sonic UBC Laptop Sounds and Sensors (SUBCLASS).

Ollie Hawker is a Glasgow-based composer and improviser primarily interested in ideas of digital nostalgia. He holds a Music degree from the University of Glasgow, and a Masters in composition from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he was awarded the 2020 Kimie Composition Prize. He has recently received commissions from Sound Festival, Cryptic, and Live Music Now Scotland, and has performed his live electronic pieces at Sound Thought Festival, Radiophrenia and the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. He plays in the bands Neuro Trash and Instruction Manual, and works as a music practitioner for the charities Paragon and Hear My Music. A recent example of his work, in which a Scottish folk tune is used to explore historical conceptions of melancholy, can be found here:

Katie Muir is a Glasgow based multidisciplinary videographer, graphic designer and visual artist. Her practice centres around the climate anxiety felt by so many as we globally sit at the knife’s edge of the climate crisis. In recent works she has been using archive materials to reflect on modern society’s nostalgic cultural tendencies paired with modern climate issues to emulate the everyday eeriness of world changing around us. Since graduating from The Glasgow School of Art in 2020 with a degree in Communication Design, her work has been featured in Design Wean’s Show Off, Rumpus Room’s Act+Adapt Climate Actions Edition, and she was named a Local Heroes Design One-to-Watch.

Examples of her video work can be found here:






Trevor Pittman