"One of the most talked about concerts of our festival."
Alistair MacGowan, Artistic Director of Ludlow Piano Festival, 2023
Christina McMaster is a pianist, composer and founder of Lie down & Listen – a truly creative spirit fascinated by deep listening and sound. She has performed at numerous festivals U.K and worldwide and is known for her creative approach to programming.
She studied with Joanna MacGregor and was later appointed Associate of London's prestigious Royal Academy of Music. She has performed worldwide at leading venues/festivals including Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, QEH, and featured on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3, Classic FM.
Christina was selected as a young artist in residence at St John’s Smith square, and from 2013-17 she curated programmes of multimedia and piano events for The Royal Academy of Music annual Piano Festival. She has been a mentor for Geneva International Music Competition, UNESCO Day of the Girl, and given talks at Universities in the U.K and U.S, including at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and was mentor at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2021.
Christina has collaborated with numerous visual artists, leading composers and artists - including composers Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Freya Waley- Cohen, Folk music legend Peggy Seeger, photographer-film maker Mary McCartney and has composed/produced music for Mother of Pearl, DAKS and Louis Vuitton.
Christina was a Visiting professor at Kings College in London, developing the ‘Sound Mind’ project with Dr Sally Marlow which ultimately evolved into Lie down & Listen – the tibetan sound healing and lying down concert experience.
In April 2023, Christina premiered ‘Inner Temple’ - her own composition/live improvisation for ‘‘Sound Unwrapped’ at Kings Place. Inner Temple was inspired by 12th Century Sonic Visionary and Priestess Hildegard Von Bingen’s vision ‘The Universe’ and created in collaboration with electronic and wellness music pioneer Tom Middleton.
Christina has a particular interest in 20th Century French Music – and spent many summers studying in Aix-en-Provence with Bernard Flavigny – student of Alfred Cortot and Walter Gieseking.
Ligeti Etudes and Ultra Marathons
Watch Christina's video of the Devil's Staircase by Ligeti. Read her article for Gramophone magazine of the story behind Ligeti's fiendish Devil's Staircase Etude and the many parallels with the physical and mental training required for Ultra endurance sports.
Christina is a keen ultra marathon endurance runner and is currently working on a project where she will be preparing the 18 fiendish etudes by Gyorgy Ligeti and also running 18 ultra marathons across 18months.
Inspired by Hildegard Von Bingen's vision 'The Universe'
Inner Temple is a 360’ immersive sonic journey of new and improvised music inspired by 12th century Priestess, plant medicine healer, eco-activist and sonic visionary Hildegard Von Bingen. The live experience combines piano by Christina McMaster, electronic and nature soundscapes by wellness music composer and pioneer Tom Middleton , with meditation guide and author David Cole.
Hildegard’s vision and painting ‘The Universe’ of pure creation, the four elements and their meaning. The vision doesn’t deny the darkness, but leans right into the core of it, embracing its contrast with the light as an essential part in the process of creation.
Almost every electronic sound originates from the piano and even the soft rain sound is sourced from Bingen itself where Hildegard lived. First performed at Kings Place, London in March 2023. During this live performance the sound was experienced in surround as a lying down concert moving through 50 speakers provided by D&B audio.
The sonic journey is guided by a map around the painting:
Part 1 Meditation for opening to a new vision
Part 1B Inside the Fire
Part 2 Purity
Part 2B “and I heard a heavenly voice speak to me”
Part 3 Cloud of secret mystery
Part 4 Divine Power
Part 5 Sereneness
Part 6 Brightness
Part 7 Soft Caressing Rain
Part 8 Antiphon of Divine Love
Lie down & Listen
Christina founded the meditation, sound healing and lying down classical concert experience 'Lie down & Listen.'
It began through a chance meeting with Professor Sir John Strang and and a scientific experiment at KCL to re create the benefits of a hallucinogenic trip - changes in perception of time and enhanced creativity. Since then it's evolved , incorporating traditional sound healing in a beautiful and profound deep listening experience.
Lie down & Listen tours to special spaces, festivals and venues offering deep immersions, a talk on listening and wellbeing sessions for musicians, professionals, young people etc.
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