20.30 Programme begins
Fresh Klang: Linda Catlin Smith, Forest for 9 violins, 2004
Mira Benjamin (leader)
Angharad Davies, Solo Violin and Four Bass Amps, 2018
Phoebe Collings-James & Last Yearz Interesting Negro, Sounds 4 Survival, 2018
Jamila Johnson-Small, Phoebe Collings-James, Onyeka Igwe, Chloe Filani, Joy Labinjo, Rebecca Bellantoni
Phoebe Collings-James‘ practice is intentionally messy and sprawling, focused on how we live with getting bodied. Extracting knowledge from the three islands of Jamaica, UK and Manhattan all and none of which she calls home, she considers the journeying of the sea, pathways and opacity of routes as roots. Taking form primarily in sculpture, sound and drawing with a distinctly corporeal approach. She attempts to burden ubiquitous materials with a process of symbolic layering, all in order to explore emotional connections to the politics and erotics of violence, language and fear. Recent works have been dealing with the object as subject, giving life and tension to ceramic forms. As well as an ambitious new performance commision with Jamila Johnson-Small, Sounds for Survival at the Wysing Arts Centre in England, that asks the question of what an anti-assimilationist practice might look and sound like in 2018.
Exhibitions include Harlem Postcards, Studio Museum Harlem, ATROPHILIA, Company Gallery, New York, Relative Strength, Arcadia Missa, London, Blood on the Leaves Blood on the Roots, Preteen Gallery, Mexico City and Just Give Me A Minute, live at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
Last Yearz Interesting Negro is the solo project of Jamila Johnson-Small, she makes shows, working with in-between spaces – things that exist in and through cracks in time/memory/attention – with syncopation, trance states, internal narratives, intensities, electronic music, and a love of dancing on the spot. In her performances, bodies of public and performer(s) are navigated as object, animal, human, machine, environment, energy, to build atmospheric landscapes created by the live unfolding of the tensions between things that produce meaning.
Her practice affects/disrupts/deflects/distorts/reflects the gaze(s) directed towards her body and the resultant choreographies are a stage or dreamspace or battleground for working through questions of presence, visibility, responsibility and pleasure, for situating and expanding (or dismantling) her ‘identity’ and turning it into theatre. She moves with an awareness that her dances will always be a lament for the histories her body represents, carries and conjures. Her current research is exploring surrender as a strategy for destruction and producing states of alienation as part of this resistance. The enemy is also within and the dances are driven by these strategies as internal processes.
Not interested in invention or innovation she uses things that are already there and rearranges them in an effort to encounter some unholy combination that resonates with the horror, discomfort, cringe, confusion and sensuality of this contemporary moment and her position within it, opening up spaces in thinking, feeling, reading and dancing.The landscapes she creates for her dancing body to inhabit with a public, seek to access and utilise her own power for her own ends, disentangling from – or entangling herself further with – the isms that instrumentalise her existence on a daily without her consent.
Of Caribbean descent, born and based in London she has formed long term collaborations with other artists including Project O with Alexandrina Hemsley and previously immigrants and animals with Mira Kautto.
Angharad Davies is a Welsh violinist working with free-improvisation, compositions and performance.
Her approach to sound involves attentive listening and exploring beyond the sonic confines of her instrument, her classical training and performance expectation.
Much of her work involves collaboration. She has long standing duos with Tisha Mukarji, Dominic Lash and Lina Lapelyte and plays with Apartment House, Cranc, Common Objects, Richard Dawson’s band and Skogen. She has been involved in projects with Tarek Atui, Tony Conrad, Laura Cannell, Jack McNamara, Eliane Radigue, Juliet Stephenson and J.G.Thirlwell.
She has released records on Absinth Records, Another Timbre, Potlatch and Confrontrecords.
Her album Ffansion | Fancies was voted in the top 12 albums for Radio 3’s Late Junction.
Linda Catlin Smith grew up in New York and lives in Toronto. She studied music in NY, and at the University of Victoria (Canada). Her music has been performed and/or recorded by: BBC Scottish Orchestra, Exaudi, Tafelmusik, Other Minds Festival, California Ear Unit, Kitchener-Waterloo, Victoria and Vancouver Symphonies, Arraymusic, Tapestry New Opera, Gryphon Trio, Via Salzburg, Evergreen Club Gamelan, Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver New Music, and the Del Sol, Penderecki, and Bozzini quartets, among many others; she has been performed by many notable soloists, including Eve Egoyan, Elinor Frey, Philip Thomas, Colin Tilney, Vivienne Spiteri, and Jamie Parker. Â She has been supported in her work by the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Chalmers Foundation, K.M. Hunter Award, Banff Centre, SOCAN Foundation and Toronto Arts Council; in 2005 her work Garland (for Tafelmusik) was awarded Canada’s prestigious Jules Léger Prize. In addition to her work as an independent composer, she was Artistic Director of the Toronto ensemble Arraymusic from 1988 to 1993, and she was a member of the ground-breaking multidisciplinary performance collective, URGE, from 1992-2006. Linda teaches composition privately and at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada.
photograph by Dark Music Days
Mira Benjamin is a Canadian violinist, researcher and new-music instigator.
She performs new and experimental music, with a special interest in microtonality & tuning practice. She actively commissions music from composers at all stages of their careers, and develops each new work through multiple performances. Current collaborations include new works by James Weeks, Gyrid Nordal Kaldestad, Scott Mc Laughlin, Cobi van Tonder, and Taylor Brook. Since 2011, Mira has co-directed NU:NORD – a project-based music and performance network which instigates artistic exchanges and encourages community building between music creators from Canada, Norway & the UK. To date NU:NORD has engaged 79 artists and commissioned 62 new works. Through this initiative, Mira hopes to offer a foundation from which Canadian artists can reach out to artistic communities overseas, and provide a conduit through which UK & Norwegian artists can access Canada’s rich art culture. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Mira lived for ten years in Montréal, where she was a member of Quatuor Bozzini. Since 2014 she has resided in London (UK), where she regularly performs with ensembles such as Apartment House and Decibel, and is currently the Duncan Druce Scholar in Music Performance at the University of Huddersfield. Mira was the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian musician in recognition of their contribution to the artistic life in Canada and internationally.