This post is a reaction from Weijke Koopmans to the announcement of the upcoming session “Postponing the end”. We have worked together previously around this theme. The letter below is her personal attempt (and she is managing well) to describe even more precisely what the core interest is in working with “endings” in Instant Composition.
All who are interested to join the session this Thursday are welcome.
i write my thoughts in the form of a letter to you. i will try to become more clear as i write. your comments and thoughts are very welcome.
‘postpone an ending’, those words immediately scratched a lot of stuff.
ending is anyway a very fascinating business. when, how, who. does everybody get it, is it the right moment, too soon, late, clumsy, obvious, smooth, necessary.
the best ends for me are where ‘it’ decides. what is ‘it’? this so hard to name, but so necessary thing you need in improvisation. the shared mind. being with and in that sense that all of us try to develop. that state where you are totally present and alert, yet not on a deciding track. where you ‘are’, movement ‘is’.
so then the end presents itself.
haah, there it is, an end! and do you take it, or not.
you are sitting at a table, there is a sandwich on your plate, you notice it being placed in front of you. are you hungry? can you sit and watch? do you eventually bite, do you walk away, or do you pass it on to your neighbour. it is an interesting improv exercise: just watch the sandwich on your plate, being still and alert. just watch for a bit. it’s like a little gap in time. can you stay there, still alert, and do nothing.
next could be: what are your options: eat, put some music on first, make tea, do a phone call.
so in the mean time i am also talking about postponing. for me, it has a lot to do with noticing. so i do not think so much of postponing. more like noticing a possible end. and decide: is it shared, necessary, good timing? it is just a possibility. you can do with it what is needed, what is wished for, what….? maybe you don’t know, you don’t decide. now it gets really complicated. and you are not the only one in the space! there is you, other dancers, the dance, music.
noticing an end: it can pass in a millisecond. you stay behind, a little bewildered sometimes, omg, i missed it! or it can linger on for a while. the interesting bit, is what i think you refer to johnny, is that bit of time. end-ing.
an ending is also a fun place to be, to wait, to live in, move through, be still.
could be an interesting thing to do: can we make a piece that consists of only endings? as sometimes i consider my movement as only beginnings, a continuous stream of beginnings (that is a hard one to end, by the way).
then to finish my letter, some possible ends:
in the air
could be a long list, this one. so, could we name the endings this thursday? what kind of ending is this ?
fun and horrible too. label something that can also just exist, needs no words what so ever.
so, a little food for thursday. sitting here in my lovely backyard, catching the last sun…
and you dancing away in rotterdam…
This is a call for participants for a research project that will happen in January (31) and February (14, 21) 2013 and where I would be very please to welcome you.
This project aims to develop a methodological approach that would facilitate dance music performances creation by giving a specific framework based on the archetypal notions of the “Dreamer” and the “Observer”.
The point of departure for this research originates from my experience as a dance performer, with extended experience in improvisation approaches, and from the work of Authentic Movement, philosophy and phenomenology, Vipassana meditation, neurosciences research, Shamanism, Continuum Movement, the Jungian and humanistic approaches in psychology.
When I refer to the “observer” I mean the internal witness, the voice of our inner self, perceivable through feelings and sensations. The “observer” give us a sense of self and being present in the here and now. The Observer is at the core of the experience.
When I refer to the “dream” or the “dreamer” I mean the creative capacity of the psyche to project sensations, feelings, images…it is a mental activity that we experience in everyday life when our thoughts navigate between insights, memories, mental projections, creation of futures and imagination. The dreamer’s space is dimensional, virtual, endless, and infinite.
The first stage is to be aware of impulses, and to locate from which places they come from. We use impulses originating from the body or the mind through imagination and sensory awareness; it becomes the primary source of the dream.
We project the content of the dream into a performing space of awareness, with the help of the observer. The goal is to project these impulses in the room and to manifest them physically in a creative and performing act.
These impulses may come from a physical, emotional, mental or unconscious place, the “observer” is in charge of tracking and locating them in our system and to give permission and consciousness for the “dream” to unfold. The “dream” is actualized through creative expression of movements, sounds, dances, play, characters, actions or anything that is manifested through possible forms of body’ expressions.
This approach follows psycho-physiological processes as a base for a creative action, more than a technical approach. The performance is then not based on technical mastery but upon the capacity to create within oneself clear and strong imagery, dance, theater and situations that will engage an audience.
The method becomes then appropriate for amateur, non-professional or for anybody wanting to explore his or her creativity, and more largely it is a performing approach giving to individuals ways to perform their own potential.
I hope we can share some of the research together and I am looking forward to meet all artists interested in this process.
This is an early announcement and call for participants for a research project I will be doing in January/February 2013, focusing on structured group improvisation. This project is part of my studies’ research on composing for interdisciplinary, collaborative improvisation groups, and it combines the composition of scores with composing in the moment through improvisation.
WHEN: This research project will happen in 3 sessions: 17th and 24th of January, and 7th of February 2013, from 13:00 to 17:00. Please note that the sessions are sequential, which means you need to commit to attending all three of them.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN: In these sessions, we’ll be exploring in detail just how a pre-fabricated score or set of rules can be used as a starting point for group improvisation and collaborative composition, as well as a tool for achieving connectedness between the improvisers. It is already stated in this blog’s Knowledge Base that “crisp and open interaction does not happen without a shared, transparent context,” and that “the more you have a clear picture of the context you are in, […] the more connected you will feel” with the other performers. My wish is to explore how could a score provide this very transparency and clarity of context for interaction to happen; in other words, how can a score, that is composed especially for improvisers, be designed in such a way that it conditions interaction and expression, and could become a helpful support for the sought-after precision, control and focus within an improvisation context. Can a score solve problems of performance, while subtly adding to the complexity of the improvising moment?
As a classically trained composer myself, I’m also interested in how does the role of the composer change within such a context and when facing these questions. I don’t have a particular vision or idea about what the final “product” of the sessions will be. All I know is that we will use a score as a starting point for experimentation and discussion, and that while tackling the aforementioned questions (and others that will come up during the process) a performative event will emerge out of our sessions. On the last day of the sessions we’ll be doing an informal sharing, where we’ll invite a group of friends and colleagues to come and watch, give us feedback, and discuss about our findings and process.
WHO: I encourage experienced improvisers and performers from any artistic background to sign up. As I already mentioned, it’s required that the participants commit to all 3 sessions; unfortunately I deem this necessary, because the work will be created in collaboration with the group, and it will grow based on our day-to-day work throughout the three sessions.
If you are interested please let me know by the 20th of December, so that I can then organise the group and prepare the score accordingly. You can sign up to the sessions by posting a comment below this post.
Also note that the sessions will be documented in video and audio, for archiving and research purposes. The plan is then to create a small documentary of the sessions, to be posted online as a research film and also accompany my thesis. (We’re looking for two cameramen! Let me know if you know someone.)
Normally participants of the Carpet Sessions are asked to donate a small amount, so that the rent of the studio can be covered. However, I’m looking for some funding at the moment, so maybe this cost could be paid for you. (I will keep you posted.) You can find more about the Carpet Sessions (info, address, etc) here.
This message is an early invitation to the sessions, so some things might change on the way! More info will follow in December, about the details of the research questions, the score, the group formation etc. Looking forward to your messages and participation!
ABOUT ME: I’m Kiriakos Spirou, a composer and pianist from Cyprus, currently studying Music Design at the Utrecht School for the Arts, while also doing research at Bournemouth University in the UK. You can find out more about me and my work on my blog. You can also stalk me on Facebook/kiriakos.spirou. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have via firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comments below.
Object/visual theatremakers and puppeteers Lindai Boogerman and Martine van Ditzhuyzen will lead with me an exploration of objects and improvisation in November/December. With the subtle relationship in mind that a puppeteer/object-player can have with ‘stuff’/things/material, we want to know how we can use this for interdisciplinary instant composition. We would like to involve and ask not only puppet players, but more so musicians, dancers, actors, lighting/visual people,… to interact with material that accompanies them on stage.
6th of December 2012
13th of December 2012
Sessions (14:00-17:00) will be semi-open, meaning we would like to define the group of researchers beforehand. Preference is to people who can join all three sessions, but exceptions can be made. Just talk to us.
We will post more detailed information end of October. But you can already write your comments below to state your interest in the subject or if you have a question.
Thomas, Martine, Lindai