ECHO CHAMBER Episode 2 – Benedict Taylor

 

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Here’s the second episode, this time with Benedict Taylor. Whilst chatting over coffee we talk academic training, crossovers between visual and sonic art, the birth of language, and the importance of chatting over coffee in making great music. Thanks Benedict!

We held the discussion on a bustling summer afternoon on the sidewalk outside Café Oto in London, so there’s a lot of extraneous noises and sounds of vehicles, roadworks and people chatting right next to us. Although this only came about due to bad planning on my part, I actually think the end result is pretty cool. I should apologize though for the wind buffeting every so often, it’s not the most comfortable sound but I couldn’t do anything much about that with all the plugins in the world.

Other than that, enjoy!

Tracklist:

  1. “Reliefs”, DARK VOICES (CRAM Record No. 4)
    Lawrence Upton & Benedict Taylor                           https://cramrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dark-voices
  2. “3 Caged Guerillas”, Caged Guerillas, Benedict Taylor https://subverten.bandcamp.com/album/caged-guerrillas
  3. “Hidden Bomba”, Hidden Bomba, Chris Cundy & Benedict Taylor https://linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/album/hidden-bomba
  4. “Sol”, Solstice, Benedict Taylor
  5. “Solstitium”, Solstice, Benedict Taylor           https://nachtstuckrecords.bandcamp.com/album/benedict-taylor-solstice

Benedict Taylor is a solo violist & composer. He is a leading figure within the area of contemporary string performance, at the forefront of the British & European new and improvised music scene. He performs, records & composes internationally, featuring in many leading venues and festivals including: Cafe Oto, Jazz en Nord France, Royal Court Theatre, The Vortex, Ronnie Scott’s, BBC Arts Online, BBC Radio 3 & 2, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, London Contemporary Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Cantiere D’Arte di Montepulciano, Edinburgh Fringe, CRAM Festival, The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, ICA London, Radio Libertaire Paris, Resonance FM London. As an improviser, he has worked with Evan Parker, Terry Day, Keith Tippett, Wadada Leo Smith, Alex Ward, Renee Baker, Steve Beresford, Angharad Davies, Hannah Marshall, Phil Minton, Pat Thomas, Tetsu Saito, Gianni Mimmo, Veryan Weston, Sylvia Hallett, Dirk Serries amongst others. He is involved with a number of higher education institutions, giving lectures in performance, improvisation & composition at the Royal College of Music, City University of London, Goldsmiths College, Royal Holloway College London. He is the founder / director of CRAM, a music collective and independent label.

ECHO CHAMBER Episode 1 – Sam Mackay

Here it is, the first episode. I talk with Sam Mackay, researcher and co-founder of the London Contemporary Music Festival. We chat about improvised and experimental music practices, being uni grads from Edinburgh, and noise in a post-colonial setting.

Listen, enjoy, leave a comment! Don’t be afraid to get in touch.

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ECHO ORGAN – A Substructured Loss project

For the Substructured Loss residency, I invited several active musicians in the experimental scene in Berlin to take part in interviews in which we talked about their life as musicians and the emotional struggle and release involved in the art they practice.

Space played a key role throughout the project, not only in the interview stage but also in conceiving the installation itself. Interviews took place in the corner of a large gallery space lit only by a low-level lamp. This created all at once a cavernous acoustic space, reminiscent of a church, and a visually intimate environment, reminiscent perhaps of a confessional.

The installation, entitled ECHO ORGAN, attempted to recreate the echoic intimacy of the interview space by taking the shape of an empty, open structure which suggests the “inner world of subdued thoughtfulness” my father believed accessible through musical experience. Though without walls and placed in the midst of cavernous reverberation, it still provides a space of physical detachment.

Recordings of my father discussing these ideas can be heard in the headphones within the structure. Spliced with these are bits of the interviews, and the aforementioned aphorisms integral to these discussions can be found inscribed on the structure’s wooden beams in Fraktur typeface.

The structure and surrounding sound relate to my own grieving as a means of reflection of the self and communion with loved ones no longer there who are, like music, only really present in the memory.

For more info check out the Echo Organ page on my website, or get in touch if you feel this is related to your own artistic practice and you’d be interested in taking part in one of the next interviews.

SUBSTRUCTURED LOSS update week 4

Got the chance earlier this week to spend two hours talking about architecture and musical improv with the one and only Klaus Kürvers. A quietly ticking clock features throughout the whole interview, I discovered listening back, which given the structured-time context of the whole thing is quite fitting.

A few days later I had the honour of Isabelle Duthoit’s musings on the spirits around us and digging deep to the musical lava beneath. The bells from the church opposite decided to chime at a specific mention of contacting the dead. Also fitting.

klausk.berlin

www.francemusique.fr/emissions/l-improviste