A performance that I am extremely excited about is the solo piano, audio-visual extravaganza performed by my good friend, Mari-Louise du Plessis, aka Mira. Mira, from the Greek ‘shines like no other’, not only alludes to Mari-Louise’s given name – the name also references a red giant star (also known as Omicron Ceti), some 400 light years from Earth. Mira, an exploding sun and dying star, gives us a view into the creation of solar systems.
Music and art has always been a part of Mari-Louise’s life – she started playing the piano in primary school, ultimately completing UNISA Grade 7. She is also a highly qualified visual artist, obtaining her MA (Fine Arts) in 2013, from the University of the Free State. Today, known as Mira, she integrates and fuses musical performance and visual arts by experimenting with visual artistic-musical compositions, also allowing for interactive audience participation in the creation of her work.
Mira currently lives and works in Taiwan. She is travelling home to South Africa to perform original solo piano compositions as well as an interactive audio-visual performance. The piano compositions will include a combination of Mira’s familiar piano works as well as newly composed musical explorations. Throughout the show Mira will share her experiences about travelling to a foreign country while rediscovering her own artistic voice.
Mira will perform three shows during the 2017 Vrynge at the Vrystaat Arts Festival on 17 July 2017 at 17.30, 18 July 2017 at 14.00, and 22 July 2017 at 10.00 at the Madelief – PACOFS Gazellie on the campus of the University of the Free State. Tickets cost R80 and can be purchased through Computicket.
I was lucky to be able to ask Mira some questions:
I asked Mira why she choose audio-visual art as her medium? She explained that she adores both art and music. While working towards her master’s degree, she began to investigate the connection between art and music, thus leading her to experiment with audio-visual art. Mira is fascinated by the transmission of meaning between the different media as well as the processing of meaning and the dialogues created between audio-visual work and the audience.
Mira finds inspiration in opposites – in light and dark, calm and tempest, love and fear, life and death. She uses music and visual compositions to explore the play of opposites found in nature as well as the dichotomous nature of humanity.
Mira has been living in Taiwan for more than a year and the newest edition to her repertoire, Seven melodies is inspired and influenced by her experiences in the East. How has she been influenced by her time spent in Asia? Living in relative isolation, as a foreigner, has led her to question and challenge her notions of artistry. Since she has been living a secluded life, she has gotten to know herself better – she has rediscovered her artistic voice and gained confidence in her artistic abilities.
Living in Taiwan has led Mira to explore Eastern philosophies such as Taoism and particularly the idea that there exists in this life an enduring play between opposites.
Lastly, I asked Mira what advice she might have for prospective audio-visual artists? Her answer – follow your intuition and play and experiment as you create.
What music are you listening to? I’m listening to contemporary classical composers such as Nils Frahm and Ludivico Einaudi. I also often listen to film music and at the moment I’m a bit obsessed with the ‘ambient’ soundtrack of the film Drive – what fascinates me is the way the cinematography and the soundtrack is combined to create the mood and atmosphere of the film.
What are you reading? Tao, the pathless path, by Osho
Bucket list city to visit? I would love to revisit Berlin
Creative person who inspires you? I’m inspired by the youtuber Louis Cole and his channel FunForLouis on a daily basis. His passion and drive inspires me not to doubt myself and to wholly and absolutely build the life I want to live.