A performance by Slave Pianos on the final day of the acclaimed exhibition Slave Pianos | Punkasila | Pipeline to Oblivion: 3 Projects by Danius Kesminas and Collaborators.

Slave Pianos is a provocative and highly inventive collective of artists, composers and musicians devoted to the exhibition, collection, analysis, performance and re-composition of sound work by visual artists.

The closing day performance The Gift: Redaction and Decontamination combined theatre, music and art to activate elements of the exhibition. Taking place in the museum, the performance built on the installation work The Execution Protocol III: Mutually Assured Production (The MAP Room) 2007-11, which included a parlour-grand piano housed in an electric chair, a control console, a motorised coordinate plotter and geophysical map-mural. Incorporating texts by playwright Joanna Murray-Smith, art historian John C. Welchman and author Julian Barnes, The Gift: Redaction and Decontamination featured actor Richard Piper, a tesla coil (a high voltage discharge device) and members of Slave Pianos in an execution and musical ultra-reduction of sound works from the avant-garde.

The exhibition Slave Pianos | Punkasila | Pipeline to Oblivion was then ceremoniously closed with tastings from the Dipsomatic Organ vodka still, and traditional Lithuanian food and folk music.

Slave Pianos was founded in 1998 by Rohan Drape, Neil Kelly, Danius Kesminas and Michael Stevenson, and including Dave Nelson, Slave Pianos investigate and recontextualise artists’ music projects through the process of transcription, re-enactment and creative appropriation.

Slave Pianos’ work has been performed by the Arditti String Quartet, Michael Kieran Harvey, Flux String Quartet, Krasnyi String Quartet, and the Royal Australian Navy band. Slave Pianos has written multiform acoustical theatre works which have been performed by Chamber Made Opera (Australia), Astra Chamber Music Society (Australia), Jauna Muzika (Lithuania), and Barney McAll (USA). Their work was exhibited in the 17th Sydney Biennale 2010.

Richard Piper is a British born actor with a distinguished theatrical career in England and Australia appearing in over 50 stage productions, television series’ and West End musicals. Most recently Richard has been critically acclaimed for his leading role in the Melbourne Theatre Company production The Gift.

Video courtesy Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA.