P I A N O – D r e s s is a conceptual work for acting pianist and live electronics. It creates a world in which we perceive sound and gesture as intimately fused in a single dialogue, the movements of the performer’s body becoming an extension of the musical language.
P I A N O – D r e s s embodies this idea in a radically new way. Here the grand piano, the monolith of classical performance tradition (and Yurtsevich’s own instrument) seems a spectre of its former self. It is as though a piano recital has been turned inside out, the communication happening as much via the pianist’s body language as via the antiquated nineteenth-century contraption in front of her. Regardless of the apparent dominance of the visual aspect, from the outset the piece was based on and conducted purely by the dramaturgical unfolding of sound composition. In her work, music as a hermetically-sealed practice explodes into the wider universe of thought and feeling of which it is so wonderful and vital a part. The work unfolds its tapestry of exquisite sounds very slowly; and as it does, we, as audience, play through a number of possible decodings of its strange events. This woman is a pianist, we assume; do we know that for sure? if so, what is her relationship to her instrument, this instrument that she approaches in such an individual way? Or are we in fact witnessing a glimpse of the future, when the old, arbitrary distinctions between the arts of sound and gesture have given way to a more holistic fusion of the senses? PIANO-Dress is both an act of research into these questions and a work of art in which music continually engages other sense modalities, reaching beyond the purely aural domain and seducing us into multiple responses in body, mind and heart. / Bob Gilmore, 2012 /
This work is a research, exploring the relationship between performer and the instrument, breaking the expectations rooted in the tradition of classical performance practice by swapping and questioning roles between the instrument and the performer, when the performer becomes a performed instrument itself, in this case literally. The ideas of this work is to juxtapose a seemingly apposite forces (the performer and the instrument) that are imprinted in audience’s mind in certain way by a classical tradition - our usual expectation of ‘large objects being monumental’ such as a grand piano to produce ‘monumental’ sounds, leaving a performer at its service.
We perceive performance not only sonically but also, and for the most part, visually. We “see” sounds, we “hear” movements, where the movements take a role of sound or becomes an extention of the sound. This piece is a cross boarder between musical performance, theater, minimal movement choreography and the audio-'visual' installation, as it may appear from the audience point of view. Yet this work is based on and conducted purely by the dramaturgical unfolding of sound composition from very beginning of its creation.