Composer in Residence for the Stiftung Kunst und Musik Für Dresden

Dresden Residency: Week 7

Another week and onto more improvisational antics. I have Marina Schlagintweit visiting me here and we’re finally finding the time to continue with the work we did with the Rokbook Collective in Viitasaari for the Time of Music Festival back in July. Marina is one of my favourite frequent collaborators, not to mention a wonderful friend, and we’ve been working together for over a year now! We’ve had quite an extensive creative journey together considering we both permanently live in different countries!

There are some performance opportunities in the pipeline for the coming two weeks so we’ve spent this time getting to grips with relearning our vocal duo setup. We both use an identical Ableton 9 patch and two Korg Nanokontrollers to treat live vocals.  A range of effects are involved including a harmoniser and transposer in Max for Live, frequency shift, granulator, overdrive, delay, reverb.

What’s really nice is to approach this as ‘older’ artists. Only 9 months has passed but we’re both in a completely different creative headspace than we were previously. Marina is currently studying a jazz piano course in Munich and I’m on this residency exploring how new music connects with the site-specific, immersive theatre world.

When we first decided to work with an identical setup, the thinking behind it was that the behaviour of the performers would also be mirrored. The current goal is to see how far we can push this. We’re feeding our own musical backgrounds into it and seeing how they work together. We’re looking closely at fluid tempi, recognising when a pulse exists and different ways we can play with it. We’re also spending quite a lot of time bashing out polyrhythms in the kitchen together in order to improve our intuition in all walks of life, with the hope that it can translate on stage!

Here’s a rehearsal video of our time together this week! This is totally free but it captures a sound world we’ve delved into multiple times now and explored in different ways.

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