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Lunchtime Piano Recital - Larkhall

“Entrancing” (Jim DeRogatis) neoclassical composer/pianist Larkhall brings classical virtuosity to his “vividly beautiful work” (Hämeenkyrön Sanimax), weaving technology into his live performance through computer-generated visuals created algorithmically from his music as he plays.

The Sea Was Never Blue, his 2019 self-produced album of solo piano music, pairs each of ten new works for piano with a short film in which each note corresponds to an event on-screen. To create these visualisations, Larkhall recorded digital data from his home studio’s piano along with the audio, allowing him to create algorithms that transform the musical data into shapes and colours onscreen.

Before embarking on a career as a composer, Larkhall was a concert pianist, winning a prize for new music in the International Shostakovich Piano Competition, collaborating with multi-Grammy-award-winning ensemble eighth blackbird, and premiering works by several notable American composers. As a composer himself, he has worked with Pulitzer finalist Tod Machover (MIT) and Milton Mermikides (Royal College of Music) among others. While resident at the Arteles Centre he was the Ritari Hyvämielksi, a Finnish ‘cultural knighthood’ for his works for new media. His cultural- commentary tech-intervention Cuddlr saw 250,000+ downloads, global press coverage, and a spot in WIRED magazine's top 100 apps. His algorithmic video work has screened at the Shanghai Expo and Museum of Rome; his contributions to music-recognition app Shazam were used by 400 million people and featured as Apple's App of the Day.

Larkhall is a resident at Bristol’s Pervasive Media Studio, a hub for creative technologists. In 2018 he was awarded a residency to develop his microcontroller-based biomimetic electronic sculpture Here I am here I am (Synthetic community #1) in collaboration with research scientists at Wageningen University (NL). This led to a series of public events including a TEDx talk and a presentation to University of Bristol’s Computational Neuroscience Unit.

He holds an MPhil from University of Cambridge’s Centre for Music & Science and was named a “Rising Star” by the school’s Festival of Ideas. He has published and presented internationally on musical aspects of human-computer interaction.