Live non-verbal improvisation performed in absolute darkness, interacting with a cellphone recording from the day before, at The Window, an evening of experimental music, performance and visual art at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Observatory, Cape Town, 29 January 2017.
“It’s not easy to improvise… It’s the most difficult thing to do. Even when one improvises in front of a camera or microphone, one ventriloquizes or leaves another to speak in one’s place the schemas and languages that are already there. There are already a great number of prescriptions that are prescribed in our memory and in our culture. All the names are already pre-programmed. It’s already the names that inhibit our ability to ever really improvise. One can’t say what ever one wants, one is obliged more or less to reproduce the stereotypical discourse. And so I believe in improvisation and I fight for improvisation. But always with the belief that it’s impossible. And there where there is improvisation I am not able to see myself. I am blind to myself. And it’s what I will see, no, I won’t see it. It’s for others to see. The one who is improvised here… no, I won’t ever see him.”
— Jacques Derrida, unpublished interview, 1982, reproduced in David Toop’s Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970, Bloomsbury, 2016, pg 21.
My new favourites out of Stockholm are this duo, and their album The Lost Colony.
According to their website (where you can also watch their videos and stream music):
“Siri Karlsson is a duo that have always gone their own way and broken with established standards. With one foot rooted in mystical folklore and the other constantly in search for new influences, they manage to create a highly personal expression. With vocals, alto saxophone, piano and key fiddles they create an unorthodox hybrid of folk, psychedelia and progressive.”
I’m on the organising team for the Edge of Wrong. Join us in Cape Town next week – it’s going to be an exhilarating ride!
Edge of Wrong Cape Town 10: A five day festival of experimental, improvised and provocative music.
It’s been a busy six months for EOW. Last October’s event saw noise artists, opera singers, free jazz, chiptunes and the sound of the Ebola genome perform at a metalworks. In January, we hosted a performance of Terry Riley’s In C for two laptops, improvised analogue synth, a postrock/drone quintet, and a memorable moment under a highway bridge with cello and saxophone accompanying traffic noise.
Now, we invite you to join us for our flagship event, the annual Edge of Wrong festival: five days from 25 to 29 March 2015, featuring a diverse range of international and local artists, each of whom epitomises our ethos of encouraging experimental, uncompromising, dangerous music.
This year, the line-up includes cutting-edge Norwegian performers Vilde Sandve Alnæs, Inga Margrete Aas, Harald Fetveit and Morten Minothi Kristiansen (founder and chief provocateur of Edge of Wrong), along with improv jazz outfit As Is, Juliana Venter and her motorbike ensemble, EOW stalwart Dizu Plaatjies and his Souls of Ancient Fish project (with Ruben Mowszowski and Maxim Starke), the Darkroom Contemporary dance troupe, Gugulethu’s jazzy G-Clef, US field recording artist Erik Deluca and EOW co-organiser Aragorn23 on custom electronics and live data manipulation.
The festival will unfold over several days at a number of venues (including a spontaneous flashmob orchestra in the central city which you can join) so be sure to check out the details on our Facebook event page. You can choose between buying tickets for individual events or an all-access pass for the week.
I’m part of the South African curatorial/organising team for this series of collaborative multi-medium performances. If you’re in Cape Town, check EOW 9.1 out tomorrow night.
It will involve an insane mash-up of guitarists, violinists, opera singers, noise musicians, circuitbenders, chiptunists, avant-percussionists, pianists, body modification, visuals generated from cellular automata, experimental improv dance, provocative video art and the livecoded sound of the Ebola genome…
Happening this Wednesday, 7 May 2014, at 20h00 at Bolo’bolo, 76 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa:
We’re incredibly excited to invite you to a special edition of our new Eclecticity sessions – a monthly experimental music evening at bolo’bolo.
This Wednesday we’re hosting an improv set by three musicians who need no introduction: Patric Thormann (Sweden) on double bass, Mandla Mlangeni (SA) on trumpet and Niklas Zimmer (Germany / SA) on drums.
Those of you who were lucky enough to attend the recent Edge of Wrong festival know what to expect from Patric and Niklas, and Mandla should be familiar to everyone who has followed the Cape Town music scene over the last few years. We’re lucky to be hosting three such talented performers and we hope to see lots of you there!
NB: The event is totally, 100% free. We have vegan food and drinks on sale and you may bring your own snacks and drinks as long as you respect the alcohol-free and vegan ethos of our space :-)
Ross Campbell wrote this heartfelt song for our extraordinary, mercurial friend, the visionary artist and musician Alex van Heerden, who was killed five years ago this morning in a car accident. The hole he left will never be closed.
HERE is another tribute written by Righard Kapp at the time of Alex’s passing.
And here is Alex talking with his singular insight at a workshop on Cape music held in Basel in 2006:
dark phrases of womanhood
of never havin been a girl
without rhythm/no tune
distraught laughter fallin
over a black girl’s shoulder
it’s funny/it’s hysterical
the melody-less-ness of her dance
don’t tell nobody don’t tell a soul
she’s dancin on beer cans & shingles
this must be the spook house
another song with no singers
& interrupted solos
are we ghouls?
children of horror?
don’t tell nobody don’t tell a soul
are we animals? have we gone crazy?
i can’t hear anythin
but maddening screams
& the soft strains of death
& you promised me
you promised me…
sing a black girl’s song
bring her out
to know herself
to know you
but sing her rhythms
sing her song of life
she’s been dead so long
closed in silence so long
she doesn’t know the sound
of her own voice
her infinite beauty
she’s half-notes scattered
without rhythm/no tune
sing her sighs
sing the song of her possibilities
sing a righteous gospel
let her be born
let her be born
& handled warmly.
— from For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Macmillan Publishing, 1977. Shange was born Paulette L. Williams in Trenton, New Jersey. She later changed her name to isiXhosa/isiZulu – read more HERE.
Broadcast’s Black Session – recorded live at La Maison de la Radio in Paris on May 4th, 2000 – features the original lineup that toured in support of their album, The Noise Made By People. It includes all the electronic segues and dissonance between tunes, along with stellar renditions of early singles, album cuts and B-sides. You can download the whole recording HERE.
Thundersqueak — the noise trio of Gareth Dawson, Righard Kapp and Mark van Niekerk — performing live at Cape Town’s 4th annual festival of improvised music, ‘On The Edge of Wrong’ 2009. Filmed by Jaco Minnaar.
Righard and Gareth will be playing together tonight at this year’s EDGE OF WRONG.
It’s a festival kindred in spirit to Fleurmach! Don’t miss EDGE OF WRONG. From this Friday, 22 February until 2 March 2013 in Cape Town, explore the thresholds of what music can be…
EDGE OF WRONG is premised on the productive opportunities vested in chance, in uncertainty, in the pursuit of the unknown. It welcomes mistakes and challenge, diversity and collaboration.
As such, the festival brings together a community of like-minded musicians and artists from South Africa and Europe to share skills and visions with each other and the SA audience. Artists are invited based on their commitment to experimentation; to find, test and exceed the limits of their creative potential.