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It Went Like This

Graeme Wilson

connecting principle flyer

Time or process-based work has been suggested as a central theme for connecting principles. In a lot of improvised music, time is usually conceived of as passing in regular units to facilitate playing together. However, this project will bring free improvisation to bear on excerpts of autobiographic text as a means for participants to collaborate on a time-based process that is not structured in regular units. The processes of written accounts are of interest on two counts. Firstly, the passage of time can be represented in a sequence not just of events, but of emotions and memories of other time. All of these provide rich correlatives for improvisers to consider. Secondly, by attending to these features, written accounts do not present time as a regular progression; an afternoon when not much happens may be dealt with in a few words, but in minute of intense experience can expanded in the reading far beyond the period of time described

Firstly, I would like to work with a writer or writers to produce or identify short passages of autobiographical text wherein a significant experience or point of transition takes place. These passages would then be used as a score for a group of 3-6 musicians and/or artists whose working practice involves live improvisation. The group would familiarise themselves with an excerpt, then seek to improvise together to represent the different rates at which time appears to pass in the text, and the sequence of sensations described. The written works would not be read or displayed as part of the performance, though they could be made available afterwards. While each piece should be collaboratively improvised (i.e. without learning particular ways of representing particular pieces of text) the group will ideally have enough opportunities ahead of the performance at connecting principles to familiarise themselves with the group, aiming to develop a common sense of the passage of literary time in their improvising.

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Graeme Wilson

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Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE1 7RU
Culture Lab forms part of an evolving network of artists, researchers and scientists 
  at Newcastle University looking at new ways of working across traditional academic