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The Substation/ Annea Lockwood/​ Piano Transplants/

Piano Burning (1968) by Annea Lockwood / Photography by Greg Harms
See locations below
1–12 June 2022

Wheelchair accessible.



On the banks of the River Thames, flames engulf an upright piano. Smoke intermingles with melody as the instrument slowly transforms into a new state of matter.

In 1968, New Zealand composer Annea Lockwood performed Piano Burning, the first official work in her series of Piano Transplants—a series of radical interventions with Western music’s most iconic instrument. The works speak to the transformation of objects, matter, energy and art.

Lockwood’s Piano Transplants are seminal sound works that expand the art of composition’s edges to include the chaotic addition of natural forces. At sites across Melbourne, three of Lockwood’s Transplants—Piano Burning, Piano Drowning and Piano Garden will see the grand instrument overwhelmed by plants, submerged by water and consumed by fire.

Presented by The Substation and RISING Melbourne.


Born in New Zealand in 1939 and living in the US since 1973, Annea Lockwood is known for her explorations of the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and environments, in works ranging from sound art and installations, through text-sound and performance art to concert music. Her music has been performed in many venues and festivals including: the Possibility of Action exhibition at MACBA Barcelona, De Ijsbreker, the Other Minds Festival-San Francisco, the Walker Art Center, the American Century: 1950 – 2000 exhibition at the Whitney Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Westdeutscher Rundfunk, CNMAT Berkeley, the Asia-Pacific Festival, Donaufest 2006 Ulm, the Donau Festival Krems, the 7th Totally Huge New Music Festival Perth, Ear To The Earth Festival – New York and Sonic Acts XIII.

Her sound installation, A Sound Map of the Danube, has been presented in Germany, Austria, and the USA. This is a surround ‘sound map’ of the entire Danube River, incorporating a wide variety of water, animal and underwater insect sounds, rocks from the riverbed, and the voices of those whose lives are intimately connected to the river. Other recent projects include Ceci n’est pas un piano, for piano, video and electronics commissioned by Jennifer Hymer; Jitterbug, commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, a six-channel soundscape with two improvising musicians; and In Our Name, a collaboration with Thomas Buckner based on poems by prisoners in Guantánamo. She was a recipient of the 2007 Henry Cowell Award. Her music has been issued on CD and online on the Lovely Music, Ambitus, EM, XI, Rattle, Lorelt, and Pogus labels.


Vanessa is a percussive artist dedicated to exploring how sound shapes our lives, awakening our ears to new sounds, in new spaces, with the hope that attentive listening will lead to attentive custodianship of place. With a long history in experimental music, Vanessa uses this body of knowledge to consider how we listen through site-specific explorations and collaborations. Trained as a percussionist in Australia, Germany and the USA, Vanessa relies on this sonic investigation of objects to build compositions, create contexts for improvisation, interpret the voices of other composers and collaborate across art-forms and disciplines. She has toured the world for 25 years, premiering over 100 works by significant national and international composers, presenting work at major international festivals, and collaborating with improvisers, dancers, artists and more.


Lawrence English is a composer, artist and curator based in Australia. Working across an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work prompts questions of field, perception and memory. He investigates the politics of perception, through live performance and installation, to create works that ponder subtle transformations of space and ask audiences to become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception.


Wednesday 1 June–Sunday 12 June 2022


Location: King's Domain
Wednesday 1 June–Sunday 12 June 2022


Friday 3 June 2022 – Diimpa
Saturday 4 June 2022 – Diimpa
Friday 10 June 2022 – Diimpa
Saturday 11 June 2022 – Vanessa Tomlinson


Location: Williamstown Botanic Gardens
Wednesday 1 June–Sunday 12 June 2022


Duration: Approx. 15min
1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm Saturday, 11 June 2022


Location: Lower Terrace, Birrarung Marr


5pm Friday, 10 June 2022


Artist: Annea Lockwood
Curator: Lawrence English
Performer: Vanessa Tomlinson

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Victoria 3015, Australia

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Chamber Made/​ My Self in That Moment/​ 27–30 July 2022/
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