June 2019 Newsletter

  • News
  • July 15, 2019

Sensus Concerto Commission

Concerto for Disklavier Piano, Orchestra, and Visual Projection
Duration: 25 – 30 minutes

Sensus is a collaboration between composer Jarosław Kapuściński and photographer/videographer Kacper Kowalski for pianist Jenny Q Chai which uses a Yamaha Disklavier concert grand and intelligent score following technology to allow the pianist to control the flow of the prerecorded and pre-edited visuals stored on a computer and projected on a wide screen behind the orchestra.

Ariel Artists is currently gathering a consortium of co-commissioners and premiering orchestras. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us! Premiere performances can include discussions and exhibitions by the collaborators in a residency format, either around the performance date or as ongoing community engagement throughout the season. Kapuściński is available to come to all performances, and can provide technological support as well as musical input.

Sensus is a Latin word for feeling, thought, and emotion. The imagery of the piece depicts machinery in industrial sites in six movements / tableaux.

In an aerial view 200 feet above ground the perception of scrapheaps at metalworks, mining conveyors, rail crossovers, factory construction and agricultural equipment shifts to a poetic mode. Imbued through music with a full spectrum of emotions one can imagine machines being alive.

Are they sad or pensive? Tired or hesitant? The musical form also gives them an unexpected, different sense of purpose. The themes and orchestration inspired by traditional classical repertoire and performed by instruments developed over centuries refers viewers back to the technological and artistic mastery of the past. The trajectory from steam machines to AI finds its analog in the traditional ensemble being augmented through the use of a Disklavier and computer programming.

Machines augment and replace humans. Perhaps there are no more people. What is the purpose of work, creation and existence?


To inquire about the Sensus Project or to learn about Jenny Q Chai’s availability and block booking periods, please email Director of Artist Representation, Nina Moe.

New Teaching Appointments

We’re excited to announce Jenny Q Chai’s appointment to the faculty of the University of California Berkeley, effective in the 2019-2020 season.

Chai has also been named an official career mentor at Manhattan School of Music and this summer, will be in residence at Chetham’s International Summer School and Festival in the UK, a position that includes teaching, performance, and competition judging.

Acqua Alta

Jenny Q Chai‘s Acqua Alta “High Water” performance collaboration with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories scientist Dr. Ian Fenty (right) focuses on global warming and its effects on the Earth’s oceans. The music on this program showcases the piano’s full range of expression, from exquisite nuance to bold gesture, as well as a wide range of musical understandings of water dating from both before and after the emergence of global climate change.

The performance also includes sound and video installations based on global warming data curated by Dr. Fenty. The effect of global warming on water has been Fenty’s field of specialization for years, and he offers talks such as “Global Sea Level Rise” and “A Shrinking Polar Ice Cap” alongside the performance centerpiece. In addition, some pieces on the program are paired with the digital paintings of artist Relja Penezic, all of which are related to water. A narrative unfolds over the course of the performance, at first showing the tranquility of water and of humanity living harmoniously with it, then gradually showing a breakdown of that harmony in an increasingly industrialized world, and a troubling of the delicate balance that oceanic life requires.

Limited dates in the 2019-2020 season are still available, and Ariel Artists is booking Acqua Alta for the 20/21 season now!

To inquire about the Sensus Project or to learn about Jenny Q Chai’s availability and block booking periods, please email Director of Artist Representation, Nina Moe.