UnEarth, Improvise

It is the night before UnEarth II presented byThe Occasion Collective - TOC at Alphabetti Theatre and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. I wanted to curate a night of improvisational music from the North East that would demonstrate the diversity of this playful form of making, exemplify the accomplishments of the acts and would follow on thematically from the previous UnEarth event. It will be my first time working with two of the four acts, Acrid Lactations & Posset Trio and Some Some Unicorn although I have followed their output for a while. One of my intentions was that event may initiate new collaborations between the various improvisers while solidifying and developing existing ones. Due to the nature of improvisation it's difficult to know what to expect but this serendipity paves the way for such intriguing musicality.  

The full line up is as follows:

Drone Ensemble "...a loose, experimental affiliation of those who make, and perform with, extraordinary sound instruments. The subtle energy generated by the Drone Ensemble is made stronger by its connection to many minds as we move into the present continuous".
Joseph Sallis
Bex Harvey
Rebecca D'Andrea
Ben Applegarth
Sarah Grundy
Edwin Li

Acrid Lactations & Posset Trio: "Direct from the gutter! No-rules wrong-prov... Expect knotted metallic shuffles and damp gulping. Like jazz skipped a beat from dixie straight to fusion played mostly on mossy rocks and bladderwrack." 
Joe Murray
Stuart Arnot
Soo Fitzgerald



Cooking With Faye, "An ensemble of practitioners freely improvising through sound, music, dance and live videography with repetition, elongation and playfulness at it's core. Verging on Experimental Theatre, the project aims to initiate collaborations with artists from a multitude of disciplines to create spontaneous performances". 
Jamie Cook - electronics
Adam Stapleford - drums
Calumn Oscar Younger - percussion
Adam Goodwin - live videography



Some Some Unicorn "...both earnest and playful, clashing together drones, snatches of poignant half-melody, skronking horns, dexterous synths and signal processing into densely layered, complex atmospheres. Heard together, this is one hot, noisy, musical mess that the late Sun Ra would have loved".
Christian Alderson - drums
Shaun Blezard - electronics
Charlie Collins - percussion
Lindsay Hannon - vocals
Faye MacCalman - sax/clarinet
John Pope - bass
Mariam Rezaei - electronics
Derek Saw - trumpet



Then into the night with DJs including the wonderful Kuba Ryniewicz.


Happy New Year and Welcome to My New Blog.

I am, like many others, very excited to leave 2016 behind and am cautiously hopeful that this coming year will feature somewhat more positive and productive political eventualities and fewer losses to creative progenitors and heroes. I will also be going through past and present exploits of artistic endeavour that I have encountered on both an immediate and a remote nature on this space. 

The first look back will be to the UnEarth event that I held at Alphabetti Theatre in July consisting of 8 musical acts brought together for their shared capacity not only to produce fantastic experimental and electronic music but also to build the instruments or systems from which they play. Below shows the set list from the evening in order of performance. 

Mr. Blazey

Drone Ensemble

Jamie Cook

Ben Jean-Houghton

Phil Begg

Shelly Knotts  

Roo Carpenter


The evening opened with the beautiful sounds of Rob Blazey's hand crafted Kalimbo with built in X-Y controllers that modulated the live feed and activated samples as he undulated the instrument in his hands. The crunching rythmical section braking through expansive harmonious melody and zen like ether was a pleasure to witness and fortified my understanding of Rob's contribution to Grey Tapes. Drone ensemble occupied the centre of the venue floor with a multitude of contraptions varying from hurdy gurdys to gamalan like percussive instruments that filled the basement theatre with an acoustic purr among which Phill Niblock would be in element. Phil Begg, aka Hapsburg Braganza to my delight brought along his majestic modular synth from which he expelled a wonderous cacophony. It's always an absolute pleasure to put Phil on. Flying star of the algorave scene Shelly Knotts utilising her own EEG signals as source material transmitted from headset to computer to projector gifted us with her technological and sonic innovation and fellow live coder Co¥jpt, aka Sean Cotterill absolutely killed it, as always. 

I'm hugely excited for UnEarth II in which a series of improvisers will be showcased at Alphabetti Theatre on the 14th of January. Check up on Facebook for more details.