A little insight into some improvisation projects
November 2018: I hosted the Female Laptop Orchestra alongside several other women working in music technology. We had an exciting roundtable event, discussing topics such as ‘women role models’, ‘visibility of women’s work’, ‘mentoring’, and ‘global collaborations’… A concert followed at SARC where I had the chance to pioneer my new VR instrument, blending saxophone and the VR environment EXA Infinite Instrument.
12 October 2017: The incredible Frances-Marie Uitti visited SARC. The Guardian newspaper wrote about Frances that she ” …is the world’s most influential avant-garde cellist.” They just forgot to say that she is a musician of immense power with a musicality that is simply awe inspiring. I am delighted to have played a short improvised piece, inspired by the graphics of Luciano Martinis.
‘sinenomine (2017)’ performed by F M Uitti and Franziska Schroeder (tenor saxophone). Here is the live track (with permission by both artists).
Evan Parker visited the beautiful town in the north of Portugal, called Viseu. He led several improvisers across various deserted spaces and buildings and we recorded improvised materials. I was fortunate to lead a public debate on improvisation as creative practice afterwards. You can find the video and some great photos on the Publications Tab.
All this was part of the incredibly inspiring Portuguese Jardins Efémeros Festival.
This is a trio work, performed during the Concurrent#2: New configurations for improvising event in Edinburgh, January 2017. The work is entitled “Rebreather”
Re-Breather (Schroeder, Rawlinson, Etefaghi, 2017)
The work derives from the notion of breath, breathlessness and restriction.
We present an improvised piece held together by a framework that is informed by the idea of breath and breathlessness. Starting with the breathing sounds of the saxophonist – at first highly spare, subtle breath sounds that get pushed through the saxophone, exposing the resonances of the instrument and its materials – the saxophonist’s materials become the basis for the visual artist who uses these subtle sounds to inform and drive his response, tracing the gestures of the performer’s breath. Live processing of the breath sounds allows us to enhance, as well as to counter the performative materials through filtering, dispersal and accumulation.
The performers introduce a few objects which restrict the air column of the saxophonist, asking her to struggle for and with her breath. Physical engagement with these objects becomes part of the visual component for the work, where cameras transmit some of the performative engagement to the audience. The saxophonist’s struggle develops into a more animated part where the performer, using circular breathing techniques, continues to employ her breath in order to work herself towards physical exhaustion, which in turn serves as a trigger for the visual and sonic manipulations of the other artists. Realtime signal processing extends and augments the ecosystem of saxophonist, saxophone and the concert hall. Additional contractions, dilations and expansions occur inside of physical models of pipes and valves, exploring notions of slippage and seepage which both bridge and feedback into the saxophonist’s gestures.
An improvisation album on Bandcamp with ‘fluxtrio’ (myself on saxophones and objects, Lauren Sarah Hayes on hybrid analogue/digital electronics and Xenia Pestova on piano and objects)
Exploratorium, Berlin January 2016
Lecture-performance on my book “Soundweaving: writings on improvisation”
(video to follow)
Kühlspot Berlin, 2016
with Pedro Rebelo (piano) and Tom Arthurs (trumpet)
METRIC EU NETWORK
Saxophone Quintet in the Chamber hall of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, on February 4th, 2016
With E. Neumann, P.Gotterbarm and K.de Jong in the Chamber hall of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, on February 5th, 2016
ImproChoir+Orchestra in the Chamber hall of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, on February 4th, 2016
MUSEUM CITY, 2015
Cidade Museu: an improvised performance with Pedro Rebelo and Ricardo Jacinto at the 2015 Jardins Efémeros Festival, Portugal.
There is a paper, published in Organised Sound on this work, “Museum City – Improvisation and the narratives of space”.
SOUNDWEAVING BOOK LAUNCH, 2014
Book Launch of my edited volume on improvisation, entitled “Soundweaving: Writings on improvisation” (Cambridge Publishers, 2014). Musicians and authors were distributed across several floors of Dublin’s Freemason’s Hall. The reading of improvised text snippets from the book and the improvised sounds of several musicians wove together stories of texts and sounds, while asking the audience to move freely between spaces.