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.