What a wonderful evening that was! June’s Playground on the 11th June was the perfect way to start the summer with even if the weather tells you otherwise. Loads of regular players and a bunch of completely new faces filled the Loft at the Old Fire Station with ideas, new projects, music, opportunities for artists and invitations for collaboration and of course a lot of laughter. The laughter was mainly due to one of our awkward “there is a technical problem” kind of moments. Actually, wait, we had 2 of those moments last time. Things happen, especially when working with technology and machines and stuff. But our generally relaxed (read: panicked) approach and our confidence (read: total uncertainty) that in the end everything is going to be fine (or it will most likely not), totally inspired (fooled) everyone to believe that we knew what we were doing.
The opening game this time was a funny mixture of impro composition and “quick! make a performance in 2 minutes” which even though it was a bit of an experiment and we had never tried it before, was really successful in exploring the “put fun back into art” approach that we’ve been flirting with lately.
In a playful and relaxed way, this game opened up everyone’s ears and prepared us to enjoy the first round of the menu: Sam with an Uncooked/Things I Sort of Know.
Sam, improvising with bass and electronics, created a beautifully sensitive and slightly haunted soundscape that was flowing into the room and through our ears like the slow, sticky waves of a forgotten, unmapped ocean.
Sam was very happy to answer some questions afterwards with regards to the equipment and devices he used, and it seemed like quite a few people were intrigued be the curious little Ebows. For anyone who still wants to find out more about them, here is a Wikipedia entry on Ebows.
The second round was a Chemical Reaction by Claudia. Claudia is an artist and the Manager of Magdalen Road Studios and joined us to talk about a new art-space, called Filament 14, which is available at the Studios for teaching, residencies, workshops or anything else that you could imagine.
After asking us to close our eyes and listen to her voice softly describing Filament 14 in the finest of details, Claudia brought some colour-in sheets depicting aspects of the space and loads of felt-tips for everyone at Playground to draw, write, sketch what we could imagine taking place inside a place like Filament 14.
If you’re interested in what Magdalen Road Studios do and if you’re intrigued by the idea of Filament 14 you can find more information here.
After a short break we watched / listened to a collaborative project between Kesia and Dariusz which was presented under the Uncooked round. Kesia and her piano were hidden behind a black screen so the audience couldn’t make any visual contact with either the musician or the instrument BUT while she played Debussy’s ‘Prelude’ (from the ‘Pour Le Piano’ Suite) Dariusz, with his camera connected to a projector, gave us a live feed projected on the opposite side of the room.
The intensity of the piano performance viewed through a shifting, moving, zooming in and out visual feed created a really unusual way of experiencing the act of someone playing the piano. The questions and feedback afterwards really highlighted how fascinating this experience was for the audience.
More than a year after our first attempt at Playground (the first one was June 2012) and we’re still amazed by all the incredible work that has been presented at our monthly events and by the richness of talent and creativity that lives in this small city.
Do you have an idea that you don’t know where it’s going? (we know how it feels)
Are you looking for feedback to a new piece (so useful)
Do you want to share with other artists something that you know?
Get in touch with us! Click on Come and Play on the top menu to see what it’s all about or if you’re feeling friendly and chatty go straight to Contact.
See you all next month, on the 2nd Tuesday.
(If you feel slightly confused by all this Uncooked, Chemical Reaction things I throw about every now and then you can satisfy your curiosity by reading everything about the Playground Rounds by clicking on the Come and Play section on the top menu.)
All the photographic documentation on this blog entry was kindly provided by Pier Corona. Thank you Pier.