The saxophone and organ (in this case harmonium) duo of Tom Challenger and Kit Downes has been developing in the past two years, most recently working in Suffolk churches as part of the Aldeburgh Festival. They will be guests at a multi-media new music evening at the Rose Lipman Building (address below). Tom Challenger writes:
“Starting out as a saxophone and organ duo, our working processes throughout our collaboration has been to approach compositional outcomes by improvising. Usually starting with no musical direction, our limits (and usually, the most defining features) are numerous: The space we play in, alongside the Organ that inhabits that space; The limits of breath versus machine; the role of a present or non-present audience; our individual improvisatory limits, be them emotional or intellectual.
Performing our music and showcasing our processes at a festival that asks fundamental questions such as this will be an interesting scenario, hopefully one where both we as performers and those who listen will be able enter into dialogue and discussion on this subject”
There has been quite a bit of explanatory verbiage to describe the concept behind the evening. Helpful or not, here goes:
“A night of new music from Guildhall School ensembles and artists, exploring ideas around Freedom and Control in music and in our lives.
Musicians have long used experimental and improvised music to test the lines between Freedom and Control – whether it’s punks rebelling against the state or electronic artists such as Holly Herndon studying surveillance online. In society, these themes resonate with us all; from questions around the privacy of our data to debates about our border controls.
In Curious Gig, musicians and artists use these ideas and present them as experimental performances, installations and inter-disciplinary pieces.
Freedom and Control are the motors that spin the wheel of musical expression. From before the sound to after it, we are all collectively and individually affected by human experience, actions, ideas and visions. To what extent are we passengers or drivers when we interact with others? When – or even – do we morph between the two? Understanding is key to our ability to manipulate freedom and control, and thus interact universally, now.”