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A Bangor University lecturer is releasing two CDs

Dr Xenia Pestova, from the School of Music, is releasing two new CDs in October and November. "John Cage: works for two keyboards, volume 1" will be available on Naxos Records while "Shadow Piano", her debut solo album, is scheduled for release on Innova Records.

Both recordings feature Xenia playing unusual keyboard instruments such as the toy piano (John Cage's classic work "Suite for Toy Piano" from 1948 and pieces for toy piano with electronic effects by American composers Lou Bunk and Derek Hurst), and the "prepared piano", which requires the performer to insert certain objects such as metal bolts, coins and pieces of wood between the strings of the piano, turning it into a percussion-like instrument.

Her solo disk reflects on the darker side of life and features music for piano and electronic processing that flirt with the ideas of death and memory by Katharine Norman, Scott Wilson and John Young as well as Bangor's very own Professor Andrew Lewis.

Xenia also collaborated with Montreal-based photographer and digital artist Veronika von Volkova to create a book of images to accompany the CD.

Xenia said: "I am very happy to be able to share this music in a recorded format. All the pieces on my solo disk were written by composers who I am fortunate to call my friends. Bringing them together on one album is also a summing-up of experiences of a certain time during which I started exploring and doing a lot of research in music technology, and I am glad to be able to have this creative product to show for it."

Xenia will be launching the disks at a joint event with Dr Zoë Skoulding, from the School of Lifelong Learning, who celebrates the release of her new book, on November 26 at Y Teras bar, 6 pm.

Publication date: 10 October 2013