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More “Interlocking”/kecak sessions

After three kecak sessions in January we decided to add two more sessions in February. They will be on 16th Feb and 23 feb.
New people are welcome to join!

We will continue working as we did, starting with a basic kecak, where new people can join in and learn the form and we get deeper into it as a group. Then we blend in more  improvisations, both in group and solistic using any disicpline and technique that people bring in, song/movements/texts/instruments/etc. From there we move into group improvisations where all the elements can be integrated, working with tensions like expansion/contraction, rhythm/no-rhythm, individuals/group, story (or theater)/music, and so on.

It was great to see that there is already a level of ease with the kecak form that we can really work with it. This opens up a lot of possible avenues for exploration…

While sitting in a focused circle or while doing precise and coördinated movements it is pretty easy to keep the rhythms connected. It was more of a challenge when we were moving about without order. The first session we had some difficulty keeping the rhythms locked in together while moving. We tried walking on the beat to keep us together, but this is actually didn’t help at all, almost like it was distracting from the subtle sharing of the rhythms, like the feet had a denser, heavier way of matching up all the bodies… Kecak is voice and the feeling is very light and fast, like water molecules moving…
What worked very well this time was when we actually moved as atoms around eachother while making contact with our eyes and matching the rhythms with everyone we met. This faster and faster, so in the end we only took a small ‘check’ to make sure we were locked in. This gives a strong bonding and at the same time the individual freedom that is a necessary element, both for improvisation and kecak.

Here are some things that happened in the individual improvisations:
violin – interesting to explore the ‘other sound’ of solo instrument in a vocal context. Can it match with the voices? Can it float on top of the rhythm? How can a voice be ‘out’ and float on top of the group, not pulling or fighting them.
text – different interaction with the group, immediate and direct. She was telling US her story. Lots of interesting tension between words, sounds and music.
taps – can communicate rhythmically very strong, like a conductor or caller. Can also float non-rhythmically on top
dance- lovely direct energetic connection between the dancer and groupsound, with great waves.
duet- voice duet on supported by the kecak
song- very intense long song frases, with a strong identity, it was easy for the kecak to flow underneath. Created strong moments of silence, too. I think because the song feeling made it clear that the frases would follow and were connected. That gave the group trust to carry silence.

The possibility in the kecak to move between different levels of focus (on sound, on rhythm, on story, on movement), different group ‘architectures’ (flocks, circles, alone’s, subgroups), different political structures (with a leader, organically growing, anarchic), and flavours (rhythmic drones, choatic and wild, suspenseful with sudden outbursts, swelling and ebbing, strict cycles, silent and still happening)…

Last sessions Jeanette brought texts from Under the Milkwood by Dylan Thomas. These enigmatic texts worked very well in this context, moving fluidly between concrete/poetic/abstract/words/sounds. It was interesting to see the resulting fluïd changes in the group improv. The text and the way Jeanette moved between her modes of performance had a strong relationship with the way the group moved too.

See you next week?!

Reviewing “Interlocking”/kecak sessions

We have done two energetic and inspiring sessions learning and improvising with kecak, also going in and out of the kecak rhythms and combining it with other disciplines. It turns out to be a powerful tool for group cohesion and a rhythmic way to be connected as a group. It is easy enough to learn fast, so come to the last kecak session this thursday and have a go!

After a basic kecak session we had it down pretty well, and we were able to play around with various modes (fast, slow, loud, soft, different sounds, tones, movements etc). It creates a flexible and yet stable rhythmic carpet that is strangely similar to the drone.

We improvised with both group improvisation and solo’s. For the group improv it was much more difficult to find eachother rhyhmically when we were all moving in space, but when we touched base with eachother separately while moving around it came together really well, like you would touch with your hand but now with the rhythms. After that we ‘touched’ eachother more and more quickly, untill we were able to move and stay together. At this point we were ready to also drop it completely and let the rhythms appear again from that silence.

The kecak created an interesting dynamic between group and soloïst, both with movement, text and vocal improvisation. Soundwise it creates a rhythm that can be fragmented, thinned out, or otherwise manipulated easily and both with and without a leader.

This is definately something to explore more coming thursday, moving through different layers of attention fluidly (musicality, movement, story, flocking, individual choices and voices, chorus, moving out in space and into the circle, moving in and out of the kecak all together ). It was also fun to feel the (dis)connection of movement to this ongoing rhythm.

I hope to see many of you thursday, and we will take some time to talk about the upcoming thursdays.

PS. I just lost my whole post by backspacing…Somehow this browser (firefox) interpreted this as ‘go back a page’. That is pretty upsetting.. This post is but a meager second try… :-((

Summary ARRIVING Session 2

1. Touch as a way of arriving in the physical body
Touching your body with the hands, later touching the floor or other edges of the space (like walls etc.) with different body parts
Touching the space (the air) to arrive
Touching another body
– from different distances
– with different speed
⇨ listening to the feedback that arises from the moment of touch as arrival
⇨ how long is the duration of the actual arriving => how does the feedback change during this time? => how and where in the body do you hear this information?
From the moment of arriving the possibilities of the future (e.g. the next movement, a sound, a word…) emerge. But it seemed that we could respond to them with readiness only when we first had fully arrived.

Aspects that came up:
Arriving as a dynamic movement of completion of ‘something’.
The duration as well as the speed of arriving can differ each time.
As we listen to the feedback that emerges in the moment of arriving we often find multi-layered information as resonance that speak to our different senses.
In this practice of “arriving” actions seemed to occur from deep within.

2. Group Improvisation: Arriving in space – space as a physical partner
Using different levels & subspaces and considering other people as part of space
Awareness of how eyes and vision are integrated in this practice
We can arrive in a place, in a stillness, in a movement, in a beginning or in an end; we can arrive in a song, a story, an image. We can use e.g. movement, sound, repetition or change to arrive. These are only a few aspects of the subject of “ARRIVING”.

3. Arriving in the beginning
Practice in small groups:
a) Arriving simultaneously
Entering space and arriving together in time in a configuration that could be the beginning of a piece.
Playing while entering space with different speed, energy, and timing.
The way the group entered resounded in the final “group configuration” which then itself carried a very specific atmosphere and by that the possible future of the piece that could evolve from this beginning.
b) Arriving successively
A is entering space and finds stillness in a specific position, B is entering and positioning himself in space, then C enters and positions himself. Then A, B & C shift at the same time into a new ‘position’. This is the beginning of the piece.
It became very tangible that e.g. for A who arrived in space first the entrances of B and C would each time alter his arrival position as their entrance would change the entire space.

=> From here we did several improvisations in small group – using different ways of beginning.

4. Allowing a title to ‘arrive’
We added the following aspect for the audience:
As you watch the piece become receptive for words, associations and images that “arrive” in your body and imagination by ‘taking in’ the piece. Write those words directly on a paper as possible titles for this specific improvisation.
When we read our words it was interesting to see that one piece often had triggered very similar associations in the audience.

Maria & Bettina

Discussion Part 2 on 8th December 2011

Dear Carpet-Colleagues,

At the end of our session last Thursday, 8th December we continued our sharing discussion around the actual needs of the collective and our work.

The most important thing we discussed was around attendance, and how to organize it with as many people as we are with constantly changing agenda’s.

1. All sessions open
What Makiko brought up 2 weeks ago, we reaffirmed: Other than having semi-closed cycles, let’s say that in principle all sessions are open to be joined independently. So, you can come in at any point in a cycle of sessions a join the research. Just announce that you are coming, that’s all!

2. Announcing attendance
The idea is that you announce that you are coming to a session by simple putting your name and “I’ll be there on (date)” in the comment to the post that is announcing a (series of) session(s). [click on COMMENTS right below the particular post] This way session leaders will never be surprised by the amount of people showing up.

3. Session leader forms a core group
Next to this, experience shows that it is more satisfactory for session leaders to ask some people from the group personally for their sessions, so that there is a ‘core’ group of people who are doing the session(s) with each other, independent from the rest of people who might join in.
You can find other group members telephone numbers and e-mail addresses through the password protected members page. Contact Thomas if you forgot the password.

4. Session leaders decide how to work
In our 1st discussion on 1st December we talked about the fact that different leaders have been approaching their sessions in different ways: e.g. some chose a topic they were working on in their own artistic process at the moment, some others proposed a topic they thought might be of interest for the carpet collective at the actual moment. Some leaders came up with a clearly predefined structure of exercises etc. that they would hold on during the sessions and others worked from a more ‘open’ source, adapting and re-shaping the session in regard to the actual process and questions that came up while working. We concluded that the potent of the Carpet Collective resides a.o. in the diversity of our different backgrounds, visions and approaches. So, we are not looking for “one way” of choosing theme and way of leadership. It is up to each leader how to approach those aspects and at the same time it might be helpful for the process to share any significant choices with the group of that afternoon.

Other things we said:

– If sessions are cancelled or the space is not used, Carpet Collective members can use the studio with up to 4 people at no extra cost. Just organize the key amongst each other.
– New people are welcome, but always check if these people have a certain understanding/background of instant composition and improvising in front of an audience. Also it is helpful to check with the current session leader before you just invite someone new.

If you have anything to add or comment – please share your thoughts by posting a comment.


Summary last session on ARRIVING + Discussion

Dear all,

Here a very brief summary of our session last Thursday 1st December where we made a 1st beginning around the subject of “ARRIVING”.
We worked mainly with the element of “physical touch” to arrive in one’s own body or on the floor. This simple practice brought up a tremendous amount of sub-aspects such as e.g. the timing of arriving, different trajectories of arriving, inside – outside, the resonance of arriving, stillness, impact on space and time etc. which we noticed in our role as performers as well as audience.
Next Thursday 8th December we plan to continue with this practice and to focus on different ways how to “arrive in a composition”. Looking forward to seeing you then,

Maria & Bettina

At the end of our session on 1st December we had a brief moment of sharing around the topic of “leadership” and “organisation”. As we were a very small group we could just make a beginning, which we want to share with you.
Please see the listed thoughts as a beginning of discussion that needs to be complemented and refined.

1. For the quality of process and work it is helpful if not necessary that the person leading has joined the previous sessions (to know what had happened before) and/or is joining the group regularly.

2. Compared to the sessions before the summer the number of people coming to the Thursday sessions has clearly decreased. We were discussing the possible reasons for that. One might be that the day Thursday is working less for people. Conclusion: We should check again the availability of everybody.
Also, we found that the previous structure-overview of individual attendance we had last year on the carpet blog was very useful. Now the leaders never know in advance who will come, which led even to situations that there was only person. We suggest putting again an overview of attention on the blog. Thomas, is this possible?

3. In case the leader is absent, we suggest that the present people of the group can still use the studio – working on the topic of Instant Composition.

4. The space is reserved for the meetings of the Instant Composition group.

5. The original idea to strive for attending the entire set/series of sessions led by 1 leader turned out to be unrealistic for many of us. We thought there is the need to open it up: People, who don’t manage to join three sessions of the same leader, should be able to attend any session they are able to. => More flexibility is needed under the actual circumstances.

6. Concerning the content of the leadership: in the sessions from September on it seemed that the leaders choose the content of their leadership from their own individual interests or own artistic/creative investigation.
We need to clarify whether we want to continue towards this direction or whether the work and the group need something different. Here we get back to the question: what lies at the core of our shared work in this collective?

If you cannot come next Thursday but you have any thoughts to add to this discussion – please put them on the blog!

Maria & Bettina