feedback on Artlink Sensory Workshops: Jim Colquhoun

In the sessions Steve and I used a combination of sound, visual stimulus, spoken word and ‘feral choir’*. We attempted to create a space wherein the normal everyday workings of the world were held in abeyance for a short period, allowing a sense of ‘anything can happen’ to hold sway. People entered a darkened space filled with electronic sound produced by our various synthesizers, keyboards and gizmo’s. We studiously avoid using ‘song structure’ in these workshops as we believe that the linearity of this is something that has been inculcated into the minds of those we work with from an early age, and is therefore a limiting factor. We prefer to take a more rhizomatic approach, in that we ‘open up’ interactive possiblities rather than enclosing them through adherence to the linearity of song structure. This means that we often produce ambient textures, or drones that fall and rise over the course of the session. This is punctuated by Feral Choir and spoken word (readings). Again, rather than adhere to the linearity of ‘story’ we choose work that dispenses with this i.e. poetry, stream of consciousness, nonsense (or word salad).

*’Feral Choir’ (and orchestra) is an improvisatory technique wherein each participant is assigned a noise, a word or an instrument and is then ‘conducted’ by myself. Its a lot of fun and creates a real dynamic in the space.

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