EVENT #7 Improvised NIME @ the Amersham Arms, New Cross – Doors 8.30pm First act 9.30pm
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With a conference looking at ‘new’ interfaces for musical expression, we think it is important to look at how ‘old’ interfaces are still used in innovative ways, and how musicians can creatively (mis)use instruments in ways the makers never intended. John Butcher is one such musician who has developed advanced extended techniques on the saxophone. He has played with many of the great improvisers of our age, and is one of the most important musicians both in the local London and international improv scenes.
Excited by the sonic possibilities offered by digitally augmented instruments, the collaborative practice of Ferguson/Hayes/Michalakos explores common themes of physicality, gestural interaction, and responsiveness in live electronic music. This trio utilises laptop-processed electric guitar with external controllers; drum machines, haptic-controllers, analogue synthesizers and laptop; and a computer augmented drum kit. The goal is to navigate a sonic territory that darts from spattered beats, to tightly coupled rhythmic passages, through free noise improvisation, to gratuitous pop ‘hooks’, all the while striving to negotiate structures and establish communication within a collaborative improvisational environment.
Violin Vacuum One is one in a series of pieces by Alon Ilsar that feature his new gestural instrument for electronic percussion called the AirSticks. For these pieces, Ilsar has limited his palette of sounds to only those sampled from the other featured instrument; in this case, the violin played by Bronwyn Cumbo. Some samples are pre-recorded in previous sessions, others are sampled live, and all are triggered and manipulated live by Ilsar on the AirSticks alongside the score for the violin. The AirSticks allows the electronic percussionist to map various percussive gestures in different spaces to different sounds. It also allows the manipulation of these samples through changes in position and orientation of the hands, fingers and feet.
_derivations is a semi-autonomous software system designed to take part in improvised encounters with instrumental musicians. _derivations listens to the performance of its collaborator and uses this information to make decisions about its own contribution to an unfolding improvised dialogue.
In this fourth‐generation development of the metatrumpet, the instrument is extended to incorporate the performing environment. It becomes part of an active sound space, transforming its own acoustic context.