Daylight Music 279
Xenia Pestova + Eliza McCarthy + Sarah Nicolls
Pay-What-You-Can on the door (suggested ticket price £5)
All ages welcome
All of the money from your ticket goes to the running costs of the event and expenses of bringing these bands, from all over the country, to the venue. We couldn’t run these events without your generosity – it makes the whole thing possible, so thank you!
12:00 - 14:00
Keep in touch
There's lots of useful information in the Visiting section of our website.
There’s no need to book in advance for Daylight Music, just come along on the day.
Our venue is entirely seated and seating is unreserved but if you have any specific access requirements please do get in touch.
Daylight Music always offers something unexpected for Piano Day, and this year is more ambitious than ever. Curated by the adventurous, contemporary pianist Xenia Pestova, the event showcases the instrument we know and love in a completely new light. Not one but THREE different pianos will compete for attention at Union Chapel, with performances by Eliza McCarthy, Sarah Nicolls and Xenia Pestova.
The musicians will coax beautiful and dangerous harmonies out of the instruments in a range of classical and contemporary compositions. The afternoon will also showcase a rare appearance of Sarah Nicolls's "inside-out piano": an innovative grand piano that has been "hacked" to stand up vertically on its end in order to be able to create wonderful and unusual sounds on the strings.
Described as “a powerhouse of contemporary keyboard repertoire” (Tempo), “stunning” (Wales Arts Review), “ravishing” (Pizzicato) and “remarkably sensuous” (New Zealand Herald), pianist Xenia Pestova’s performances and recordings have earned her a reputation as a leading interpreter of uncompromising repertoire of her generation. Pestova’s commitment and dedication to promoting music by living composers led her to commission dozens of new works and collaborate with major innovators in contemporary music. Her widely acclaimed recordings of core piano duo works of the Twentieth Century by John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen are available on four CDs for Naxos Records. Her evocative solo debut of premiere recordings for the Innova label titled “Shadow Piano” was described as a “terrific album of dark, probing music” by the Chicago Reader. She is the Director of Performance at the University of Nottingham, and continues to mentor emerging musicians in workshops at conservatories and universities around the UK, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, USA and Brazil.
Eliza McCarthy is a London based pianist who spends her time playing new and experimental music. Winner of the 2013 British Contemporary Piano Competition, she performs in concert halls, art galleries, living rooms and dark trendy bars as a soloist and band member.
She has had the great pleasure of working with composers including John Adams, George Crumb, Tansy Davies, and Andrew Hamilton, and is currently collaborating with Mica Levi (Micachu and the Shapes) on an ever-growing series of solo piano works.
As an ensemble member she can be heard performing ‘Unclassifiable, raw nerve music’ (The Guardian) with Decibel. Based in Birmingham, Decibel spearhead works by artistic director Ed Bennett, and collaborate regularly with Joe Cutler, Howard Skempton, and Laurence Crane. She was also a member of Jetsam who have released original material on London based labels WW Records and Clay Pipe Music.
Eliza has worked extensively in theatre devising productions that integrate acting and music and is most proud of her work composing the score for ‘Think Only This of Me’ with Julian Philips and director Christian Burgess. She also very much enjoyed her role as a topless chorus member in a production of Ted Hughes’ ‘Tales from Ovid’.
Alongside her life as a musician, Eliza teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to help performers engage with fear, anxiety and depression.
Sarah Nicolls is a UK-based experimental pianist, at the forefront of innovations in piano performance. She invented the ‘Inside-out Piano’, a sculptural feast of an instrument played, pushed and swung in her touring show Moments of Weightlessness. Sarah has also begun to branch out from piano altogether and is currently working on an installation for the Apollo atrium at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, supported by the OCM BOOM scheme.
Over the past years, Sarah has worked with interactive technologies to augment the acoustic piano with visceral live performances. She has commissioned collaborative new works with composers and has been a frequent soloist, performing at events such as the PRSF New Music Biennial and touring with Matthew Herbert’s 20 Pianos project. Sarah has given many world premieres with the London Sinfonietta including Larry Groves’ Piano Concerto and Richard Barrett’s Mesopotamia. She is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and features on several CDs.
From 2005-2016, Sarah was a Senior Lecturer at Brunel University. She writes about live electronics and compositional collaborations. She was Music Chair for the New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, NIME 2014, is the Artistic Director of BEAM Festival and has recently founded a new curating partnership ACCORD with Kit Downes, to create interactive musical experiences for audiences.