Moments of Weightlessness

I am about to start touring my theatre/music show Moments of Weightlessness, featured here, beginning on 28th November in Oxford. The show takes my Inside-Out Piano as its starting point and explores the metaphorical parallels of making a unique piano and becoming a mum. I push, ratchet and swing the piano during the show, using the piano as part of the domestic furniture to travel into different moments of parenthood. Combining lyrical music, movement, narrative and a grand piano played like you’ve never seen before, I tell my story of becoming a mother.

In Our Hands

The main aim of this accompanying ‘In Our Hands’ project is to make parents, especially mothers, feel like my show is for them. I’m inviting parents from the areas I’m touring to to take part in a filmed conversation with me a couple of weeks before each performance. The idea is to talk about shared experiences of birth, the relentless chaos and exhaustion of parenting and the delight and wonder of meeting small people then watching them grow. In the film, only hand gestures will be seen so people won’t feel self conscious, and so our stories are really listened to.

I want to engage people who know nothing about me, or perhaps don’t get the chance to watch music or theatre performances, who’s connection to the work is purely because they share the life experiences central to the show

In February, 2016 Inside-Out Piano will turn into an installation named BODY CLOCK

A vertical grand piano swings perpetually from side to side, like a giant clock. Whilst this monumental instrument shows the passing of time visually, an acoustic sonic sculpture is created, wryly referencing the giant internal ticking we feel as we approach 40 and wonder when we might get round to having children…

more about Sarah…

Sarah Nicolls is a UK-based experimental pianist, at the forefront of innovations in piano performance. She has worked extensively with interactive technologies and invented the ‘Inside-out Piano’, to enable ‘extended’ piano techniques. The second prototype was built in 2014 by Pierre Malbos, Paris.

Sarah has two children: Stan, born 2012 and Sylvie, born 2013.

Extracts from her interview:

“After the initial period of shock/dreaminess/night-and-day blur, I became much more efficient at doing work, using nap times to quickly get on with things. But then, very gradually, life changes fundamentally in so many ways. “

“Though at first it was about efficiency – doing more, faster – it became more about being brave enough to simply express things. Birth itself is a dramatic experience and there was a lot to process as a result of that. I think motherhood has made my confidence grow, has made me more political, perhaps thinking about the bigger picture more. I find I have less patience for idiotic ways of doing things (though I was probably fairly impatient before!).”

Read her full interview here

CREDITS: Moments of Weightlessness (commissioned by Brighton Dome, supported by Arts Council England)