Huge thank you to The Point for hosting a preview of my immersive sound exhibition The Choreography of Sound. The exhibition gave me an opportunity to test some of the recordings I have made while researching the project, and get some audience feedback on what has been successful so far.
In Brighton the sound of seagulls, traffic and people blend into a mixture of noise that most people have unconsciously trained their minds to filter out. Modern life has added a fairly invasive mix of mobile notification sounds, buzzing home appliances, music piped into every shop, self service check out machines, and phone waiting music to name a few.
Following my hugely enjoyable and successful collaboration with Japanese dance artist Aya Kobayashi at the Tate Britain last October (see blog post), we were delighted that the Tate Families team asked us to be part of a new project at the Tate Modern this February. Inspired by Richard Tuttle’s ‘I Don’t Know‘ we created a piece which allowed families to respond to the huge waves of fabric across the Turbine Hall. Taking weaving as our inspiration we choreographed a large scale flocking performance which people of all ages and abilities could take part in. The participants were split into four groups and given sticks with coloured fabric, so that as the groups flocked through the hall they weaved patterns across the space.
The whole performance was controlled by children speaking directions into a giant tin can phone. The directions tell each group how to move, and each group has two dancers who show the families how to respond. The giant tin-can-phone was made by placing a contact microphone at the bottom of the can, which picks up the vibrations of people talking into it. This gives the same effect as the sound travelling along a string between two tin cans, but allows us to amplify the sound through speakers across the hall. I played a live piano improvisation inspired by bird songs which I developed into short piano motifs, played in response to the tin can phone directions.
Tate Britain is one of the most inspiring places I may ever get to work in my life. ‘Reclining Figure 2014′ was a collaboration with London based Japanese dance artist Aya Kobayashi commissioned for the BP Family Festival at Tate Britain. Set in the Henry Moore room, fabric costumes transformed members of the public into living and moving Henry Moore sculptures.
20 participants each hour became mini Henry Moore’s, and went on a movement journey exploring the magnificent sculpture around the room, with live music for dance (by yours truly). I also filmed and edited a dance film during our rehearsals which followed the performers’ journey with the sculptures. I would love to be able to share this film with you, but because it contains Henry Moore’s Art work it I am currently in discussion with the team from Tate on how we overcome the copywrite complications of the film.
I wizzed over to Ghent (Belgium) on the Eurostar for three days this week, to work with an inspiring inclusive dance company called Platform-K (english link here). I’m currently composing a new soundtrack for a dance work being choreographed by George Adams for Integrance, a project funded by EU Culture Programme, which brings together Sg2 (Stopgap Dance Company’s new ensemble for emerging artists, England), Indepen-dance 4 (Scotland), Platform-K (Belgium) and Micadanses (France). It is a truly unique and innovative project that involves 16 disabled and non-disabled performers, and the premiere of the new work will take place in February Ghent in 2015.
We had a fantastic and productive few days together in Ghent, which was a beautiful and inspiring city to work in. I think i’ve found my new favourite city.
Next stop Glasgow -working with Indepen-Dance.
It was my huge pleasure to perform at the magnificent Wilton’s Music Hall for the opening night of their brand new Strike! Dance Festival. As the oldest musical hall in the world, it is one of London’s most precious and hidden gems, and it resonates history and charm in every room. I also had the rare opportunity to perform my piano score live, enjoying the sound of the piano resonating through a hall dripping grandeur and charisma.
He Lived Next Door was new collaboration with London based Lithuanian choreographer Ieva Kuniskis, who has choreographed a virtuosic and moving solo on Darius Stankevicius. The piece was commissioned by Wilton’ Strike! and we had the great honour of opening the festival with our premiere.
It was interesting for me to be restricted to only composing what I could physically play. I have a great luxury as a composer to be able to write music without necessarily being able to play it, and it was nice to remind myself of that. Never-the-less, I gave my best shot at a contemporary piano piece in the style of a Grand Russian Waltz.
We have plans to develop a duet in 2015, so watch this space on future collaborations with this fiercely talented choreographer.
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Following the catastrophic typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in november 2013, I have released an exclusive new track on an album titled Sisters and Brothers.
Sisters and Brothers is a charity album featuring some fantastic musicians from all over the world, and all the proceeds from the album will go directly to he British Red Cross’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. The album was put together by Tokyo based DJ and composer George Art Baker, and features a track from his alias Smoke Thief.
Bagyo means storm in Filipino, and the exclusive new track features an improvisation played by me on a Charango.
Compiled by George Art Baker.
Mastered by Danny Nugent.
Released on Escape To Yourself Records
Special thanks to James Boote for his help in making this happen.
Military Helicopters, distorted Electronica, and Cello can only mean one thing…
Yep, Yael Flexer’s back on tour, and with it goes my international collaboration with Isreali Cellist and Composer Karni Postel.
The soundtrack is a massive array of sound, building all the way from quiet melancholic drones to a huge rumbling of twenty helicopters overhead. It also features some driving electronica beats, and immersive Cello playing from Karni.
Weightless had its Premiere at Salisbury Art Centre last month, and is now touring across the UK.
Wow, what a flying start to 2013. Only a month has gone by, and amongst the snow and rain, I’ve already been involved in some fantastic projects. First there was Metsä, a short art film with Bella Kardasis, shot and recorded at Stanmer Park on a frosty morning; then the Mayakaras, Lila Dance’s fantastic youth dance company; followed by a live performance on Brighton & Hove Community Radio; and then following straight into recording the soundtrack for Yael Flexer’s new work Weightless.
Bella Kardasis and I set the tone for the year with a site specific collaboration with Wigglyline Productions. We filmed and recorded a structured improvisation live and on-site at Stanmer Park when there was the first light frosting of snow over the country. The results, I hope you will agree, are beautiful, and my eternal thanks go to Josh and Liam for doing such an incredible job filming the project.
Lila’s Youth Dance company, Mayakaras, are an ever changing and inspirational group of young people. It is our privaledge to work with such hard working and wonderful teenagers every year, and this year is no exception.
This year we have launched a tumblr site to record our process, and their journeys as we develop a piece together. It is fantastic to have a permanent record of their experiences on a public domain, and I hope that they will look at the site in years to come and remember what incredible things they achieved as such young and mature people.
Brighton & Hove Community Radio
Thank you Caroline for having me back on your show. I had hoped that I could anounce a new album release date when I booked the show but unfortunately i am still a fair way off finishing my second album. Never-the-less, I played a couple of new tracks including Kyo, and a track as yet untitled. You can listen to the show on mixcloud:
Last and by no means least, I have been working on Yael Flexer & Nic Sandiland’s latest soundtrack for Weightless, which premieres at Salisbury Art Centre on the 13th of March. It’s an upfront and witty contemporary dance peice celebrating and re-living 20 years of the companies existence, and i’ll be sure to post more information as the project develops.
Its November, the month of fireworks, way too early christmas adverts, and thanks to the rise of Australian based charity ‘Movember’, moustaches. Helping to raise awareness and funds about men’s health, particularly prostate cancer, Movember encourages Men all over the world to embrace the tuft under their nose for the whole month of November.
I’m extremely proud to say that Movember have used Elan, from my album Movement for their season teaser.