Projects & compositions
Movement project with Rosalind Ridout
During the Winter of 2020 Ros and I developed a somatic meditative experience for ancient woodland. It was centred around the ecology of the Bird’s Nest orchid which, through our sensory engagement, we hoped to learn more about. For more information you can listen to us speaking about it in this podcast. In autumn 2021, we are hoping to use these experiences to develop a durational movement piece in collaboration with the Wildlife Trusts and Hospitalfield.
In the 1960s, somewhat oracularly, Emmett Williams compiled a poem-come-dataset of systematically shuffled phrases that filtered prescient themes of ecology and nonlocality through the skies and subterranea, bluebirds and blackbirds, life and extinction.
This new adaptation of ‘Cellar Song for Five Voices’ feeds this dataset through artificial intelligence and variable autoencoders to create new attenuations of the original poem and its performers. Text, deep-learned readers and their voices are systematically outputted at various epochs of the training process, generating a nexus of uncanny identities that reckon with AI’s interlockings with deep ecology.
Over ten weeks and nearly 30 events – performances, screenings, discussions, video installations and workshops – all displayed in a new streaming-service-style format, VIRTUALLYREALITY SS21 addresses the knowing sprawl of a world that has been machinicly shaped and how we might rethink our worldly engagements during and after times of emergency.
almanac for a sanguine solstice is a documentation and elaboration that follows two synchronised journeys on the 2020 winter solstice. Though separated by 400 miles on Britains east coast, we follow two voices as they gradually sacrifice their melodies and allow the influence of their surroundings to control their tune.
Wordlende is a chance to talk, commune and conspire with individuals who involve environmental practices in their day to day life. Sourcing guests from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, we hope to highlight important ideas and introduce new points of inquiry to ourselves and our audience.
Written in collaboration with MICHAELBRAILEY, ‘You, Copiphora gorgonensis’ is an hour-long meditative experience for online audience focusing on interspecies relationships, psychoacoustics and presence.
Over five stages, participants undergo a metamorphosis into Copiphora gorgonensis, a grasshopper-like insect that – despite 650 million years of evolutionary divergence – miraculously shares our human inner ear structure. Listening, insectoid body-modding and time travel are used to position the interconnected sounding present within the vastness of space and evolutionary time.
connection rituals with Mark Reid Bulatovič
During lockdown, Mark and I have been exploring how a shared experience can manifest itself over a four hundred mile separation through our ‘Connection Rituals’ project. We actualised this by spending twelve hours in ecologically similar locations performing rituals that connected to our individual landscapes’ solar, lunar and tidal points of interest in combination with moments of synchronised, symbolic and cyclical tai chi movements. Each performance was audio recorded for the full twelve hours. The ethos of this project has been translated into the albums almanac for a sanguine solstice I & II which we have released as Besingende Gedálland.
Our flesh, moss, spine and earth
for alto singer, two cellos, accordion and spoken word (in collaboration with the poet Sammy Weaver)
‘the spirit of the valley’
for tenor voice, violin, guitar, accordion and sine tones
plover haze luminescent patchwork
for SHOAL (flute, bass clarinet, classical guitar and harp)
… your thinly stretched skin, a misplaced talon …
for singing guitarist and soundtrack
Seeking the Aether with SHOAL (Autumn 2019 – present)
Seeking the Aether is a brand new collaborative project exploring the elements that make up our natural environment. Combining music, dance, physical theatre and multimedia, the show will challenge, provoke and explore our attempts to understand and control the natural environment – from ancient ritual to scientific discovery.
VIRTUALLYREALITY’s second official season of events is more diverse than ever before, celebrating the raucousness, intimacy and hybridised nature of much contemporary music and performance. VIRTUALLYREALITY SS19 features music for instruments, electronic sets, dance, physical theatre, performance art and audiovisual performances across four dynamic evenings that allow differing artistic communities to collide.
POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING-SUMMER 2021 SHOAL: Seeking the Aether premiere – NIAMOS, Manchester
23/02/20 STICKS, BITS & EATS – White Hotel, Salford
06/03/20 lunchtime recital – Bishopsgate Institute, London
08/06/19 point/wave by Catherine Lamb– Halle St Michael’s, Manchester
12/04/19 Bastard Assignments x SHOAL – IABF, Manchester
02/04/19 An Inventory of Me by Gareth Mattey – The Lowry, Manchester
24/10/18 Tollers Zelle by Anna Korsun – Villa Massimo, Rome
24/03/18 free improvisation with Markus Stockhausen – RNCM, Manchetser
12/12/17 One for Solo Violin by Nam June Paik, String Trio No.1 by David Pocknee, Fixations by Eleanor Cully – RNCM, Manchester
08/12/17 RNCM Salon Prize with Mark Reid Bulatovic (awarded joint winners) – RNCM, Manchester
29/05/17 Water and Air premiere by Eyvind Gulbrandsen and SHOAL – Hull
08/05/17 Weiss/Weisslich 17g: Gitarre und Rauschen and Weiss/Weisslich 17c: Kleine Trommel und Rauschen by Peter Ablinger – RNCM, Manchester
21/01/17 You Asked For It by David Bedford – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
17/11/16 Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Ensemble by Richard Rodney Bennett -RNCM, Manchester