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biographycontact meaerialist, musician,  theatre maker

Rope flick with cellists.


View other images at my Flickr page.



RESEARCH

My research interests cover several areas, a couple in early stages of development, others progressed to a point that permits me to pursue funding for more advanced research. The subjects include the study of space in relation to the human form and music, eastern and western approaches to creativity and the relationship between art and economics.

In 2009 I was invited to present a lecture workshop series at Middlesex University Music Department on the former. The two more developed of the areas are:

1. Rope & Strings - Space, human form & music.

This is a continuation of work completed on the LEM programme (Laboratoire d’Etude du Mouvement) at LeCoq, Paris, and artistic residency at the Centre International des Récollets, Paris, with Theatre de Complicite co-founder Jos Houben.

LEM is an unusual and exceptional course created by architects for movement artists. It recognises all arts (music, sculpture, painting, dance, architecture) as being an expression arising from the human body, and in some way reflecting it. It looks at how real human situations can be essentialised in space through an abstraction of form, colour and structure.

Jos and I went back to the beginning with this, identifying that all creations -every performance or work of art -begins with nothing. Nothing: simply an empty space. We introduce an element or object into this space; then another. Whatever we build begins with the encounter of this object with the next object in this space. The nature of the piece we create depends on what these elements are, and the relationship - the tension and dynamic- that exists between them, and between them and the space (or in the case of music, the silence). This principle can be applied whether we are creating a dance, composing a score of music or building a piece of architecture.

Playing with the elements of body, space and music, we started with the objects of musical instrument and body. The relationship created between these is one of movement (dynamic). Starting with the simple power of a single note and the simplest movement, the aim was to explore how crude bodies can, through movement, give rise to something as ethereal as music.

For four months Jos, his partner Emily and I played with these ideas with four very trusting Baroque cellists and a percussionist. Despite a number of political and logistical hitches our endeavours culminated in a successful performance of work-in-progress, sponsored by the Marais de Paris and Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, performed at the exquisite chapel in Maison de l’architecture at the Centre International des Récollets. The latter is a beautiful converted 17th century monastery in the city where my residency was based.

To see the work-in-progress please view at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcajelpFuEw

The piece was subsequently selected for the Finals of the European Cirque Competition in Belgium in 2010 and the Festival of Firsts, Royal Opera House, 2010.

My intention with this project is to secure production funding and a partner in order to fully realize the performance. As well as being performed in its own right I would like to present it as part of a broader exploratory music forum.


2. China and the West: A Fusion Music

As noted in Audio Work, this project is inspired by a desire to develop a cultural link between the West and China. I devised and prepared a detailed three year postgraduate research study programme with the Research department of the Central School of Speech and Drama, intended for submission to the AHRC, before the porogramme was unexpectedly axed as part of the Arts funding cuts! This looks at hybridity in performance practice: specifically the creation of events in music that fuse culture, disciplines and media. I may use this as a template for further on going research.

At a purely practical level, my priority is to build on what I've begun with Fuxian and develop a body of original music that fuses Chinese with western and other musical traditions and idioms, including jazz, rap and indie, to be tour and perform at venues and music festivals.

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