Sunday 6 October 2019

London Improvisers Orchestra

'This glorious headstrong beast that is the London Improvisers Orchestra here continues after more than twenty years of ground-breaking large-group improvisation. The line-up for its monthly performances is never twice the same, yet these events always beggar boundaries – relational or sonic, of taste or expectations – passionately courting catastrophe in order to advance towards fresh communion, new ways of knowing, not knowing.

Improvisation means musicians and audiences completely alive in and to the moment, observing and shaping it in real time, simultaneously seizing it and releasing it, intense and specific, to memory. Everything that is exists within these swathes of heightened time; so much that is ungraspable can nearly be intuited within the revolutions of each person’s moment-by-moment choices (in playing as in listening), making up a collective and individual musical experience, just as unique lives come together to create entire societies.'

– from Caroline Kraabel's liner notes to the 2018 LIO double CD, Twenty Years On, available here

The LIO's monthly concerts feature large-group free improvisation and large-group conducted or directed improvisation. Conductor/Creators for this month's event include:

Hyelim Kim, Taegum virtuoso, who will provide a piece for improvising orchestra based on the Korean langauge.

S: 'What is the essence of the Korean tradition that remains despite all your musical adventures?'

HK: 'There are two: the Korean rhythmic groove; and the “living tone”, which is the concept that each note has a life of its own.'

S: 'Why not just play traditional music?'

HK: 'To communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and countries, you have to learn their language.'

Interview with Hyelim Kim in The Sampler https://thesampler.org/guest-editor/guest-editor-interviews-hyelim-kim/

AND a collaboration between vibraphonist Jackie Walduk and artist Chloe Cooper, using projections of live marbling as part of the score.

Jackie Walduck's work explores the meeting points between composition and improvisation, and their impact on ensemble performance. She composes for and leads The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Orchestra with homeless men and women. Her collaborative film score for The Dress (Maggie Ford) was premiered at Cannes Film Festival. Jackie co-directs Ethereal World; both a band and a club night, Ethereal World presents improvised music from some of the UK’s most exciting players drawn from contemporary classical, free improvisation and cross-cultural jazz.

Recent compositions include The Migration Game, a game opera for Spitalfields Winter Festival, and an immersive piece in a Suffolk woodland, Sensing Nature, in which a blindfold audience was led through different woodland locations to hear music created in response to the sounds of stridulating insects, birds, bats and weasels. Sensing Nature was performed by Jackie’s ensemble Tactile, which brings together blind, VI and sighted musicians, and explores tactile composition and non-visual communication in music.

Chloe Cooper: https://www.chloecooper.co.uk/

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Radical improvising singer and trumpeter Phil Minton will be playing with the LIO this month, and conducting the group in the premiere of his new piece for improvising orchestra.
https://www.philminton.co.uk/

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AND pieces conducted by the LIO's moving spirit of many years, Steve Beresford, and Ashley Wales.

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Musicians confirmed:

Caroline Kraabel / alto sax
Steve Beresford / piano
Adrian Northover / soprano sax
Jackie Walduck / vibraphone
Hyelim Kim / taegum
Dee Byrne / alto sax
Cath Roberts / baritone sax
Jason Yarde
Orphy Robinson

and many more