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PHAME: Performance and Discussion

The performance will highlight how our transatlantic improvised no wave project Phame has endeavoured unique performance hybrids during the Covid-19 pandemic.

March 25, 2021
19:00 - 20:00

Creating in a medium that traditionally has not been suitable for remote working (free improvisation), we have examined what makes up our performance practice and how to create a multi-media hybrid experience to create a new type of performance. Phame’s practice is structured by three distinct, albeit interrelated and layered parameters:

  • Free improvisation/graphic scores/directed improvisation
  • Performance architecture
  • Movement and momentum

We control and shape the three types of performance through certain movements remotely and create an architecture through that to shape the sound. As we’re not playing together in a physical space, the task is to spatially generate a combination of sounds to match the aesthetic and visuals through the three types of performance that can be realised via the stylistic arc. The performance seeks to explore online musical collaboration in a way that consciously does not emulate creating illusions of live performance, as has been seen through the overwhelming amount of lockdown collaborations. In doing so, we aim to develop a new way of online collaboration embracing the disjunction. The composition draws from Braxton’s updated Echo Echo Mirror House composition system (2021), Paton’s composition Everything Sucks (2020) which constantly plays around with the illusions of collaboration and interaction, and Schwartz’s work on transnational mobilities and technologies of (dis)connection within dynamic political complexes.

Jessica Schwartz approaches musical representations and sonic histories of militarization and imperial violence, affective alliances, and creative dissent through historical, ethnographic, and theoretical methods. Her work dialogs with American studies, Pacific studies, environmental anthropology, and indigenous studies, and she has begun to collaborate on projects relating to musical activism, artistic expression, and climate change in the Pacific. Other research interests include issues of musical transcription and analysis, critical pedagogies, race, class, and gender in respect to popular music from the postwar onwards and subcultural genres, such as punk and hip-hop. In 2013, Schwartz co-founded and continues to serve as Cultural Programs Advisor to the Marshallese Educational Initiative, Inc., a not-for-profit organization based in Arkansas that raises cultural awareness of and promotes educational opportunities for the Marshallese population. An active guitarist, she composes and performs experimental noise-based and punk music.

Simon Paton (b.1988) is a composer, improviser, bassist, researcher and event curator based in Birmingham. A graduate of University of West London where he studied bass guitar with Paul Westwood and jazz composition with Eddie Harvey, he performed in a series of short-lived bands as a bassist for hire before forming Selectric – a prog-jazz group he led and wrote the music for which released two well received EPs and toured frequently during it’s existence. Since then, he has been actively involved in the free improvisation, avant-garde, experimental rock and contemporary new music circles, most notably as a regular member in Rick Jensen’s group Apocalypse Jazz Unit. Currently he is studying for a PhD in composition at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under the supervision of Ed Bennett and Sean Clancy and his research has been presented at conferences throughout Europe. He is active as both an improviser and new music composer – current projects include the transatlantic no wave duo Phame as well as performing with a variety of collaborators from multiple stylistic backgrounds. He is also the founder of Thinking/Not Thinking Fest – which celebrates musical contrasts within event lineups – and more recently co-organises the concert series Don’t Mind Control which is dedicated to improvised music.

The performance will be followed by a discussion hosted by Dr Zeynep Bulut.

The performance and discussion are part of Music Events at QUB.


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Meeting ID: 998 9413 9430

Passcode: hZchh3



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