Elbow in C

A piece performed while falling asleep at the piano.

For Zabo Chabiland, live performance induces an almost hypnotic state. Narcolepsy is not something she normally suffers from, until she sits at a piano. Her ambition has never been to play the instrument, rather to ride it, surfing the waves of sound. By shifting the pressure of her elbows along the keyboard, a musical dream can be heard playing in the distance, somewhere deep in her imagination. When she finally wakes up the piece is over, and as with waking from any long nap, she feels thoroughly relaxed, well-rested, squinting from the light, wondering what it was she just dreamt.

What the audience makes of it is much like what a bunch of strangers would experience gathered around a bed to watch someone sleep, only to hear the curious music of the subconscious mind coming from under a pillow. And what sort of music would that be? A gently flowing reverie? Or the screams of your worst nightmare.

Ken Shakin