BIOGRAPHY
The career of the Catalan pianist Josep-Maria Balanyà, born in Barcelona, with 22 CD recorded and more than 140 works, has taken him from the classical music and jazz until his specialisation into the field of improvisation and the new contemporary music, experimental music and performance. Internationally recognised, Balanyà is also composer, conductor of improvising orchestras, sound artist, painter and photographer.

Josep-Maria Balanyà explores the limits of music in his compositions and performances. He is particularly interested in the combination of different arts and the transfer of art into music. In order to expand and deepen his preoccupation with the fine arts and also with the craft material, he attended courses in painting and etching at the European Academy of Fine Arts in Trier / Germany.

Under the auspices and organization of the head of the Academy, Dr. Gabriele Lohberg, Balanyà performed for many years a series of interactive concerts-performances in the Kunsthalle of the Academy, where fine arts were combined with music and performance. Here he experimented with the interaction between the sounds that arise when working on the copper etching plate and the artistic result. He worked with the metal workshop that made or provided sculptures for musical performances. The works are now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Tarragona. In a teaching assignment for the students of the European Art Academy, he devoted himself to the music images of contemporary compositions and suggested using them as a basis for further musically interpretable drawings. In performative concerts, he not only made musical instruments sound, but - with electronic amplification and alienation - sculptures (Pierre Weber), paintings (class Joe Allen), bodies (models from the art academy) and objects trouvés. As part of these projects, Balanyà even gave a concert of bells in the cathedral of Trier.

Mainly, his own art production focuses on abstract paintings in which he uses mixed media, but especially acrylic on canvas. His work can be seen in his private gallery in Brussels and in buyers' homes. In addition, he has studied photography and practiced this art since adolescence. His work has followed a process ranging from pictorialism, to direct photography, street photography, macro technique and the study of the human body. He is currently preparing several exhibitions in which he presents a series of impressionist-style photos with movement; this technique gives an abstract pictorial result.

As for his main field, music, Balanyà studied in Barcelona and Switzerland (Swiss Jazz School and Hochschule fu?r Musik und Theater in Bern), he attended composition workshops, led by Helmut
Lachenmann, Walter Zimmermann and Ivan Fedele, and improvisation workshops by Borah Bergman in New York. He carried out intensive research into the sounds of nature in Mexico, working with oceanographers and biologists, including mammalogist Bernardo Villa.

He has played with first-rate musicians including Claudio Pontiggia, Hans Koch, Joachim Kühn, Franz Hautzinger, Carlos Zingaro, Michiel Borstlap, Walter Quintus, Ksenija Lukic, Hannah Marshall, Das Neue Ensemble Hannover, Americo Rodrigues, Ramon Lopez, Paul Rogers, Mark Sanders, Hannah Ma (dance), Mimi Barthelemy among others. Balanyà has played in festivals and radio programs in many countries in Europe and America. He has received several grants in Germany and Switzerland. He is currently based in Brussels and Barcelona. The concerts by Balanyà are powerful rituals – it could be said that he plays the piano with his whole body – during which we can perceive the presence of music change into matter.