Sunday 14 April 2024, 7.30pm

Maggie Nicols / Charlotte Hug / Caroline Kraabel (trio)

No Longer Available

This improvising trio centred on, but not limited to, the alto register (Nicols' voice and taps, Hug's viola and voice, Kraabel's alto sax and voice) began about twenty years ago, and was celebrated with a release on Martin Davidson's Emanem label, Transitions.

They've performed a lot since then, including a trip to Brazil to work with Latin American musicians in honour of the Feminist Improvising Group, but have only recently released a second recording, On Dizziness (Creative Source, CD and virtual).

This event launches On Dizziness with improvisation bridging and uniting voice, instrument, and body.

Maggie Nicols

Maggie Nicols joined London's legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 as a free improvisation vocalist. She then became active running voice workshops with an involvement in local experimental theatre. She later joined the group Centipede, led by Keith Tippets and in 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. She continues performing and recording challenging and beautiful work, in music and theatre, either in collaborations with a range of artists (Irene Schweitzer, Joelle Leandre, Ken Hyder, Caroline Kraabel) as well as solo.

Charlotte Hug

Hug abandons traditional ordering principles and procedures:
Instead, processes are at the centre of her work, often as part of an exchange with scientists. Different dimensions of time, and the breaking of boundaries – these are the subjects, such as the melting of the Rhône glacier, the creative process during a 40-hour period of sleep deprivation, or the attempt to communicate with plankton using sound. This is how unique dramatic performances are created. Sound is always in motion and thus reaches the audience: it is experienced physically and through the senses, rhizome-like, it touches and may stimulate further processes. In a phrase, which has become associated with Hug and her work, and which was coined in honour of Marshall McLuhan’s famous adage, the process is the message.

Caroline Kraabel

Caroline Kraabel is a London-based improviser.

In 2022 Kraabel brought together a large improvising group made up of all sorts of women, non-binary, and transgender improvisers: ONe_Orchestra New.

Other active groups include:
Transitions Trio (with Charlotte Hug and Maggie Nicols); Fit To Burst, a song-based trio with Sarah Washington and John Edwards (; a duo with Pat Thomas (on piano); the Poetry Quintet with Rowland Sutherland, John Edwards and Sofia Vaisman-Maturana, which incorporates live poetry from guest poets, including Moor Mother.

Kraabel has performed and recorded with many other excellent improvisers, including Robert Wyatt, Louis Moholo, Cleveland Watkiss, Hyelim Kim, Susan Alcorn, Veryan Weston, Mariá Portugal, Neil Metcalfe, Mark Sanders, Shima Kobayashi, and Chris Corsano.

Kraabel’s solo saxophone improvisations while walking in London and elsewhere with her infant child/ren in their pushcair were broadcast weekly 2002-2006 on Resonance 104.4 FM as Taking a Life for a Walk and more recently (without children) as Going Outside. Other radio work includes a series of interviews with improvisers in many media (music, dance, visual art, politics, activism), Why is Improvising Important.
Improvisers and Improvisation, made with John Edwards, is a 22-hour radio piece including music, noise, electronics, live performance and new interviews with improvisers; broadcast as part of 2022’s Radio Art Zone:

Some Kraabel compositions:
Performances for Large Saxophone Ensemble 1, 2, 3 and 4, for 21-piece spatial saxophone/voice ensemble; Get Used To Balancing, a suite of pieces for alto sax, percussion and two flutes; Now We Are One Two, a 45-minute solo performance; Recording The Other, for soprano, cello, flute, piano and four recording devices; LAST 1, 2 and 3 for pre-recorded voice (Robert Wyatt) and large ensemble; many songs; numerous pieces for large improvising ensembles in London and around the world, including Une note n’écoutant qu’elle-même and Missing.

Kraabel’s 40-minute soundfilm about lockdown London (London 26 and 28 March 2020: imitation: inversion, received its avant-première at Café Oto in 2021, is available on the Jazzed app, and won the 2021 Ivor Novello Award for Sound Art Composer.

Kraabel conducted, devised pieces for, and played with the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO) from 1998-2022, and organised their 20th anniversary celebrations, which featured celebrated LIO members from throughout the group’s history.

Photo by Regine Edwards