Things are getting exciting for our upcoming performance next Friday 1st March at the Saatchi Gallery! Recent news is that Absolut Vodka will be sponsoring the event, which means ticket holders receive two FREE Russian cocktails! Yes Two! Excellent, you can’t go wrong with a bit of vodka and what better to compliment the current exhibition ‘Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art 1960’s-1980’s’ ?!
So with the concert fast-approaching, we were excited to pay the composers a visit last Monday for our second workshop of the project, where they were to present the first draft of their pieces. The composers Anna Didley-Simpson, Nathanial Coxon, Jordan Stockdale, Sophie Sparkes and Gabriel Williams were all eager to have their work played…
“Nothing better than having music you’ve written come to life when people play them so beautifully :)’ tweeted Anna.
Well, we felt there was nothing better than to see how five people can react so individually and creatively to the same exhibition! The pieces sounded fantastic and each one painted its own new picture in response to the art work. It truly is a fascinating thing to be part of the creative journey, seeing developments from the initial visit to the gallery through to notes on a manuscript.
As mentioned in our last R&P, we made sure that the brief for the project was true to the vision of MOC, after all it is important for composers to know who they are writing for. We have encouraged choreographic elements to be included in the piece, such as where we might stand in relation to the art work and also for some thought to be given to the outfits which we might wear. This kind of territory is not explored too broadly in music so happens to be new ground for the composers. Last week we experimented with playing a simple musical phrase in various physical positions around the room to show how it can change the effect of the music. This exercise seemed to liberate the composers and ideas started to flow! One suggestion was to have us dress up in corrugated cardboard… we have since been collecting boxes.
We return back to Purcell on Monday to rehearse the completed pieces and can’t wait to see what we have to play with.
Catch the performance this Friday 1st March, 18.45 at the Saatchi Gallery as we unveil the creations.
To explain a little: Laban breaks down the way we move using three different areas of analysis - space, weight and time. Space can be either direct or indirect, weight can be strong or light and time can be sudden or sustained. When you put these all together, you end up with eight efforts that classify styles of movement as well as something of the personality of the person making the movement.
- Direct, strong, sudden = Punch
- Indirect, strong, sudden = Slash
- Direct, strong, sustained = Push
- Indirect, strong, sustained = Wring
- Direct, light, sudden = Dab
- Indirect, light, sudden = Flick
- Direct, light, sustained = Glide
- Indirect, light, sustained = Float
Most of us generally inhabit one or two of these efforts and the others are usually not as comfortable for us. But as we start experimenting with these different efforts, we can learn to use all of them. Practising and using the efforts makes it possible for us to create wildly different physical performances, whilst still remaining true to our own unique and special quality.
Music can also be analysed through space, weight and time. The way instrumentalists play a musical phrase can change according to the choices given to the balance between its space, weight and time. We are therefore exploring the ‘Efforts’ as a potential method of cross-arts language.
Our explorations have so far been led by Niamh, getting to grips with the physical representations of the ‘Efforts’. Niamh has been kind to us perhaps not-so-limber musicians, starting sessions with relaxing yoga before moving onto the harder things! Last Friday it was our turn to share some musical exercises and the cross-overs are quite fascinating. We have found that a lot of the time, the quicker one can pick up on the ‘Effort’ quality of a fellow performer, the more powerful the communication. We can’t wait to discover more territory before sharing our discoveries with other fellow performers through workshops.
That’s all for now but check in on us again next week for a lowdown on the Saatchi performance. Must remember not to drink too many of those cocktails!