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Kitty Xiao, ruined pianos and the gnomes of Cologne spring clean the Sound Barrier!

The Sound Barrier for Sunday 15 October 2017

On this weekend's edition of The Sound Barrier my studio guest will be Australian composer, pianist, and collaborative artist Kitty Xiao.

Kitty's music travels into places of incredibly lush and delicate beauty, into space that reminds humans of what they can be and do. As well as talking with Kitty bout her music, we will be listening to some of her most recent work composed for the Nimbus Trio: an ensemble of flute, violin, and piano committed to new music by both Australian and international composers. Kitty's music finds undiscovered country in these three instruments, dappling them in strange colours, curious textures, building them into landscapes that have that inexplicable mix of newness and familiarity that dreams do.

We will also be chatting about Kitty's upcoming work with the Six Piano Project, where six old pianos will collaborate, immersing and surrounding their audiences, in Collingwood later this month in music inspired by Ross Bolleter's work for ruined pianos, some of which I will also be bringing you on this weekend's show.

It is all a reminder that the beauty and hope we seek in our lives is often lying around us, even at times within us – we just have to find the right ways to draw out its potential. It is a lesson not always easily learned in a society that is so commodified, and that teaches us to constantly discard and replace.

Along with Kitty's music, and Ross Bolleter's, I will be playing other pieces that drive home something of this message of new life found in the old, along with a little rather raucous piece by a bloke called Karlheinz Stockhausen about the housecleaning gnomes of Cologne folklore, the Heinzelmännchen, in the hope that you too will be reminded to Spring Clean Your Conscience by taking out a PBS membership this month.

I hope you can join me this Sunday night at 10.00 PM (AEDT) either on your radio or online, or via the PBS app, wherever you are, whenever it is. The show will also be available to listen back to via the PBS audio archives, here on the website, shortly after it has gone live to air.

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