As a musician, performing
with others encourages me to create new ways, and new reasons
I have been playing with other musicians for many years but
with artists in other forms is a relatively new challenge for me.
combination of music and dance/live art/performance art, is always something
that is developing,
but yet remaining something that you have to “go
to see” in order to really experience it. There are always
with new ideas about how to combine these mediums. The two shows
with the most buzz
right now are, Cirque
de Soleil & Blue Man Group."
(Jerry A Greene, email to me, 7/3/06).
My first opportunity to collaborate with
live artists / performance artists and dancers came in out of the blue
in February 2005,
whilst I was taking part in an international arts
event in Berlin, Germany. I was there as
a pianist and performed some
of my own composed/improvised music as a soloist. There was also
ensemble of dancers– Tanzmedia - who had heard me play and asked
me to accompany their
This was an honour for me –
they did not tell me what to play or how to play.
It was to prove the
first, I hope, of many more, such opportunities.
Whilst in Edinburgh, taking part in the same event
a year later, I was able to ‘collaborate’
The 1st time our work coincided (above) we had not discussed the way
our work might interact.
The 2nd time (below)
we had discussed how the
elements might be combined. Samantha Sweeting told me
that her performance
her ‘trying to eat an apple that was suspended from
whilst a spoken list of apple varieties that she had recorded
was played on a tape player.
She was/is concerned with food. We did not tell
each other how or what to perform
but we naturally found ourselves
to each other in an organic way. For instance,
when Sweeting managed
to take a bite of the apple,
I would try to mirror her success
music – by implying a harmonic resolution. After our ‘collaboration’ we
agreed that ‘it worked’ and that we would like to explore
the piece in the future.
"Just to reiterate my thanks for your
piano playing during my performance on Sunday.
I'm really happy with
Also, Rose said that the journalist from the
Scotsman really liked
the piece so fingers crossed."
(Sam Sweeting; Berlin...Edinburgh)
"I like what you
were saying about trying to follow what I was doing with what you were
which is quite
because I think that I was doing the same
thing in a way. Blaise and I have
also been talking about
along this line. Mutual Improvisation!" (Sam Sweeting)
On my way from London, where I live[d], to Edinburgh
in Feb 2006, I became acquainted
dance company Al’ka-mie.
We discussed our own interests and arts (me, music &
learnt that they combined dance with film to create
a genre of digital
film, which was controlled by Brian,
would create a kind of ‘set’ in which, Robyn,
the dancer, would
move. They had been working with pre-recorded music, and my lasting memory
in Edinburgh involved Coldplay’s Yellow. After
that performance we became
a trio in rehearsal – each
re-acting to each other.
They encouraged me to be as adventurous as I wanted.
was even more
exciting, challenging and interesting for me as it combined
three artists. After a few
rehearsals using a digital
piano, I brought a sampler along which enabled
me to be even more adventurous
– using a wider variety of sounds.
I rehearsed as pianist/accompanist-composer
for the ‘dance-theatre-film’
as a result of
discussions during transit station Edinburgh.
"Visual Theatre; seamlessly
combines live performance & digital art...fantastical
theatre accessible to new audiences familiar
language of film and the virtual fantasy of computer games...."
There were 3 elements; projected
digital 'worlds', dance/movement and music; all elements are
Al'ka-mie had been
working together for a number of years before I began
working with them,
they developed techniques, ideas whilst studying for
When I first saw their work (at
transitstation Edinburgh), they used recorded music, so that
and the controller knew what (music)
was coming next. They invited me
on the piano,
which created a new dynamic within the work.
There could now be
dialogue between some or all of the three elements
Although I have worked with dancers/movement
artists before (tanzmedia [transitstations Berlin] &
Merav Israel [ts Edinburgh],
working with Al’ka-mie was a new challenge as they encourage me
as varied as I can. At the same time I want to remember something
of what I have played
for each of their ‘scenes’,
using a midi sampler, is even more exciting as,
in effect, I have to learn
the keyboard all over again, particularly when using,
for example, percussion
sounds instead of a piano.
Having studied composition
for Film and TV, I am interested in the application/adaptation
techniques I learnt. Having also become interested in computer game music,
I am eager to research/explore/combine elements of (music for) dance/film/games.
First, a brief assesment
of the origins of music for dance/film and computer games.
sound, for film, and then for games, developed as the technology allowed.
Film-from opera/theatre? Games-from film, esp for film/game(/book)
e.g. Harry Potter®/Star Wars®/Lord of the Rings®