Phoenix Central Park 2023

Phoenix Central Park
Season VIII
15 June 2023



My first solo show in Sydney, I feel the need for movement and new sonic directions, as a direct response to the current environment. I spent some months prior reconnecting with my Schwecten upright piano (circa 1870), a precious gift from my mother when I was just one and a half. The instrument, now more than 150 years old, is not only imbued with its own spirit and deep history, it also holds many happy memories from my childhood.

Whilst I am a cellist, the piano is my first instrument, and I believe this fact remains rather unknown. While both instruments have become wildly re-contextualised with the advent of electronics and a global interest in the modern classical genre, I wish to contribute my own sound identity within the international soft piano music and prepared piano scene. It is an exciting time.

With my engineers and sound designers, we felted the upright piano, and as I continue to practice, there are so many nuances that emerge. The way I play, the touch, everything is new again. I come away with an absolutely beautiful, delicate, restrained and refined sound, characterised by the instrument itself. The ancestral lineage of the wood from which it was fashioned, the luthiers who built it in Berlin, and the many years of life it has seen travelling the world, all comprise the sonic timbre that imparts such sweet and pure vibrations.

For this inaugural presentation Phoenix, I composed 5 new piano miniatures, I hope audiences will appreciate for their delicate simplicity, for the time and space they afford the listener to feel them, and allow the brain to process and hence build an emotional memory tank to locate our own individual lived experiences in the sound. I created a complementary lighting design, equally restrained, continuing my exploration of shadows, reflections and refraction.

Soft Piano Music. Felted Piano. Modern Classical. Ambient. Electro-Acoustic. Orchestral Electronica. Cinematic. Soundscapes. Reflection. Meditation. Calm. Healing.

New piano album forthcoming.


Multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Skepper developed a new work specifically envisioned for The Nest as part of Season VIII, performing to one sitting of lucky ticket holders.

Beginning at the Fazioli piano, Skepper took the audience on a sonic journey that reached a crescendo as he moved to the cello to create otherworldly soundscapes. Accompanied by sound and lighting Limelight Magazine described as “sublime”, Skepper’s showcase of the two instruments was a memorable experience for all in the room.


Multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Skepper operates at the confluence of art, science, technology, fashion, contemporary classical and the avant-garde. A respected multidisciplinary artist, his work explores perception, pushing boundaries to collapse artistic borders.

Following on from his sold-out performances of ‘Praeludium y Fuga’ at the Moscow State Conservatory (2019) and Melbourne Recital Centre (2023), Skepper will recontextualise this epic electro-acoustic audio-visual composition, with a new focus on his first instrument: the piano.

Praised for producing experimental modern classical compositions that blend soundscapes and field recordings with exceptional instrumental skills, Skepper will premiere new piano miniatures with electronics, and electric cello, as a site-specific performance work envisioned for the Phoenix Central Park listening space.

Photo Credits: Gabrielle Clement (@gxbriellemxry) + Phoenix Central Park (@phoenixcentralpark)