Tag Archives: improvisation

Related Media: improvisation

Zoë Strachan/Static Flux

Radiophrenia 2017

Static Flux

Static Flux is a radio and performance collaboration with writer Zoë Strachan, which was initially created as a live studio broadcast for Radiophrenia in 2017.

Static Flux focuses on out-of-time memory states, and how they can be both static and in flux. We are interested in exploring narrative Zoë and Nicholaand time through chance encounters with remnants, fragments and the ephemera of past lives. Metaphors for our endeavour include the remnants found in second-hand bags and the pockets of clothing, or in notes scribbled on the back of black and white photographs. There is a melancholy air to these things, but as with any kind of haunting, also the potential for fear, and for deeper connections with our own sense of mortality.

Performances

2018
29th May, Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh

2017
12th November, Radiophrenia

Sonic Bothy Inclusive New Music Ensemble

SB Counterflows 2014 sonic bothy sound reh1 sonic bothy sound workshop3

I am delighted to have been working with Sonic Bothy  inclusive new music ensemble since January 2014.

Scottish New Music AwardsSonic Bothy was founded by creative director Claire Docherty, and explores, composes and performs experimental and contemporary music. Residencies include CCA/AC, Glasgow and SOUND Festival, Aberdeen.

Visit the Sonic Bothy  website for more information about the project and up-to-the-minute news. Read about

Sonic Bothy recording 1

Performances include:

Recital Rooms, City Halls, Glasgow
Mono, Glasgow
CCA, Glasgow
UNLIMITED, Tramway, Glasgow
ISME conference, RCS, Glasgow
SOUND Festival, Aberdeen
Atelier Public #2, GoMA, Glasgow
Counterflows Festival, The Glad Café, Glasgow

Sura Medura 3

Moving Out Sunbeach
Sura Medura 3

The final stage of our residency was focused on preparing for our Moving Out event. Overall, the day at Sunbeach was a wonderful combination of visual art, sound, sculpture, video, performance, people, food, beer, Arrack sour, sea, sand, laughing, chatting, sharing…and cake (what a fabulous day for a birthday!).

We were thrilled to have a good local crowd join us for the day, and also delighted that so many people came down from the Colombo Biennale and the University Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts to join us for some or all of the time.

Listening Sabda Saha PinturaIn our exhibition, which combined some finished elements and work-in-progress, my sound work Sabda saha Pintura was available as a headphone installation. Notebook Entry

The title Sabda saha Pintura means sound and picture in Sinhalese – through much discussion this seemed to be the most apt translation for the collage idea I was working with in the piece. Exploring  differences in the English/Sinhalese languages was very intriguing – how or in what way  metaphors or concepts translate, for example, sound, soundscape, landscape,  environment.

During the afternoon an audiovisual tuk tuk tour was running – a collaboration between Natasha (Russell) and me. Three people at a time could hop into Sudu’s tuk tuk Tuk Tuk Tourand take a short round trip to visit Natasha’s work in local shops accompanied by my soundtrack. Big thanks to Sudu and Chinthaka for running the tours.

The soundtrack combined recordings I gathered from those shops – peopleSudu - Tuk Tuk Tour Driver introducing themselves and their businesses, shop sounds, etc – the general store, jewellers, barbers, a fruit and veg stall. I also recorded an introduction to the tour in Sinhalese, with pronunciation help from folk at Sunbeach.

Before a fantastic Sri Lankan curry banquet, I accompanied Samson Omiagien with some live vocals for his performance piece with sculpture, which we had rehearsed  in the lead up to the event.

Video Jam

Later in the final week we headed up the road for the Colombo Biennale. I was absolutely delighted to have been invited by Shereen Perera to perform a live score for Video Jam – an event running as part of the opening night.

My film extract came from the beautifully strange, thoughtful film Light in the Yellow Breathing Space by Vimukthi Jayasundara.Video Jam Colombo Biennale

 

 

 

I still have much to reflect on – such a wonderful thought-provoking time. Thanks to Neil and UZ, Chaminda, Chathura, Hasantha, Kari and all at Sunbeach, Maria and Jack, my fellow artists-in-residence, everyone I met.

Video Jam at Colombo Art Biennale

VideoJam
Video Jam – Live Score/Performance

I was excited to be invited to create a live score for the Video Jam event on the opening night of the Colombo Art Biennale, Sri Lanka. I responded with a solo vocal performance to a beautiful clip of Sri Lankan film-maker Vimukthi Jayasundara’s Light in the Yellow Breathing Space. 

BANNERColombo Art Biennale - 2

The event took place on 2nd December 2016 at the ZMax Fairway Hotel roof terrace and was part of the Colombo Biennale Performing Arts Programme.

Here’s the Facebook event .

Video Jam at CAB Clip

Video Jam at Colombo Art Biennale

Watch Video Jam clip

Here’s a short clip from the Video Jam at the opening night of the Colombo Art Biennale. The link takes you straight through to the Facebook page of Decibel.lk – a Sri Lankan online news, reviews and events site…just click the image to play…

Thanks to Decibel for that. And big thanks to Shereen Perera for inviting me to score for Video Jam.

Sura Medura 2

Sura Medura, Storm Brewing

Sura Medura 2

Sunbeach, where we are staying for the residency, is a great place and everyone is really helpful so eventually, after the first week, things settled down a bit.

In week 2 Sumit arrived so there was a bit of getting-to-know-you time, and the three of us chatted regularly. We discovered common and differing ways in our processes and practices, and endeavoured to understand how each wanted to work. Because we all had phases where we needed to work alone, the gatherings were particularly valuable and supportive.

Presentations

In week 3 we travelled to the University Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo and shared our work in presentations with students and staff. That was a really good day – as well as meeting people, we were fortunate to be shown round all the art departments then had lunch before travelling back.

Process and Decision-making

With presentations done it was now time to develop a work. I decided early on that my maiSura Medura, Lightening Storm n tools for gathering actual sound material would be binaural microphones and a portable recorder. Part of my plan was to respond in different ways to the environment for future reinterpretation in sound, for example through spontaneous mark making, but I knew I definitely wanted to make a sound work for our forthcoming residency event later in November.

I realised quite quickly that that idea was a bit challenging – for one thing, I was conflicted about spending too much time composing at the computer when there was so much to explore and experience. The heat, humidity, mozzie bites and limited equipment threw in additional curves to negotiate. I also knew I wanted to do some kind of performance. I decided just to keep gathering and see what happened.

Thinking about soundscapes

The sound environment is generally very dense and I spent quite a bit of time actively listening and drawing. Sura Medura, JungleThe area is divided – beach side and jungle side – and each has its own distinct soundscape. On the beach side the sea roars continuously as the surf thunders in and on the jungle side the air is thick with heat, bird song, massive trees rustling and people going about their daily lives. Sura Medura, Train Nichola Scrutton A railway line runs between the two through much of the area and regular trains, horns and bells punctuate the air. In the mix are a whole rich array of sounds – the hollering voices of people selling at markets and on the street, the honking and revving of huge buses overtaking other vehicles at breakneck speed (treacherous), thunderstorms and torrential rain, intermittent firework eruptions, the bread, fish and other vans making melodic announcements and so on.

Developing a work

At some point, I started to sense rhythms and cycles, and this was to become a guiding feature of the sound/music. In the end, a piece emerged in a collage form, through which I tried to evoke an essence of this wonderful place. Sura Medura, Fish MarketI was initially concerned that the binaural recordings might be difficult to work with in this way because they were so dense but in actual fact they worked really well because the place and spatial content was so rich and varied. I could both cut between different sounds abruptly and find similarities that allowed me to morph from one sound to another. While doing this work I saw there was another strand I wanted to develop, working with voices, as well as continue with drawing/mark making – but that will come later. Ultimately there were many ideas…

Now it’s also time to start preparing for Moving Out and the Colombo Art Biennale…more on that in part 3.