We spent a couple of days in early December in Belfast at The Sonic Arts Research Center in Belfast giving a Converging Objects workshop and performing with a group of smart, well-versed and diverse group of students. The famous Sonic Lab there is equipped with a plethora of speakers that are situated in every nook and cranny in the hall. We used only some of them but still enjoyed the sounds and music we made performing with the Shackle Affair system.
Many thanks to Stef Kalonaris who hosted us and to the faculty and students who made the short visit so rewarding for all of us.
Shackle has had two sweaty and electrifying performances with the electro acoustic duo Maenner mit Motoren in the last few months. Both were at the Kunsthaus Rhenania in Köln, a buzzing building that houses visual and sonic artist workspaces.
The first was on May 12 at the end of a 2 day studio collaboration and the second was on 29 August as part of the Strom IV festival.
Sven Hahne has recently moved to Chili but his wizardly visual programming continues to partner with us!
Both performances were on incredibly hot days in Köln. The audiences sipped beer as we cavorted through musical playgrounds, sometimes spacious and sometimes raucous.
Shackle on the left and Men with Motors on the right. 13 May 2015
Two American duos will be stopped by Amsterdam and were our guests for a workshop at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and for an evening of composed and improvised music at Splendor Amsterdam.
It was a day of of sonic sophistication that ranged from sheer rawness to sublime beauty.
And lots of bassoon with and without electronics!
The duos were:
Of an implacable subtraction
with bassoonist/composer Dana Jessen and composer/performer Paula Mathussen
Architeuthis Walks on Land
with bassoonist/composer Katherine Young and violist/improviser Amy Cimini
Shackle performed a concert at the Kunstenlab in Deventer, NL. Invited by Harco Rutgers from esc.rec. Shackle played a 50-minute set presenting their Shackle Bits project.
Martijn Holtslag from VPRO’s 3voor12 also liked it (in Dutch, translation following soon):
“Een verrassende en spannende reis, waarbij twee muzikanten in opperste concentratie aan het werk zijn om de gemaakte signalen te verwerken tot een klankreis die even zacht als snoeihard durft te zijn. Alsof dat niet spannend genoeg is om te zien, of te horen, worden er korte, stille fragmenten uit oude jaren 20-50 films weergegeven, die net te vaag zijn om te snappen waar het over gaat, maar visueel een prachtige aanvulling geven aan de sfeer. Hierbij zijn niet de beelden maar is het klankbeeld lijdend.
Niet voor de meezingers, niet voor de cafésfeer, niet voor een gezellig avondje bandjes kijken, maar wel een prachtige reis waarbij je even tijd nodig hebt om te verwerken wat je eigenlijk hebt meegemaakt en waarbij de klanken even experimenteel zijn als de uitvoering. Kortom: een bijzondere avond in het Kunstenlab.”
The full review can be found here (in Dutch).
The beautiful photos were made by Jelmer Gremmen.
Shackle is venturing into cover tune territory, taking tracks from popmusic and electronica and Shackling them. We’ve started with Boards of Canada and we’re sniffing around at David Bowie, Son Lux, PJ Harvey and Low and . . . .
With their latest project Shackle Bits, Shackle is including silent film excerpts in their performances as yet another ingredient for improvisation. The excerpts are controlled from the Shackle System and switch most of the time in sync with the musical sections but every now and then have a life of their own. As improvisors we are then faced with the question what will take precedence: sound or image.
Below are some examples of live situations.
Here is a top-10 list of silent movies. See if you agree.
Shackle will kick off the first concert in the new ~DIF (Different Music) series that is a collaborative effort of the Deventer Kunstenlab and Esc.rec.
We’ll be working with our tried and true Shackle System with new twists including the Shackle Bit films.
8 February 2015
Hammerstraat 63, Rotterdam, doors open 20.30
Shackle will be performing as part of a VROOOM evening in on December 20th in Rotterdam. The rest of the program includes Xavier DuBois, a band called Idiots and DJ Ergo Phizmiz.
Splendor, December 14, 2014, 17:00h
An afternoon filled with understated virtuosity, hyperactive interaction, deep drones, bloodcurdling improvisation and Sci-Fi. A teaser for the SlowHZ program: 6 composer/performers play 6 new compositions for the extraordinary instrumentation of contrabass clarinet, bass clarinet, two analog synthesizers, flute with electronics and laptop-instrument.
Oğuz Büyükberber – Crack (2014, 15’) for Shackle (flute with electronics and laptop-instrument)
Laura Carmichael – Moelewa (2014, 5’) for flute and bass clarinet
Robert van Heumen – MOROS (2014, 10’) a soundtrack for an imaginary science-fiction film, for bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, voice and live electronics
Wilbert Bulsink – untitled (2014, 5’) for analog synths, contrabass clarinet and bass clarinet
SlowHZ will present their program with all the pieces at their full length including two new works by Anne La Berge and Bart de Vrees in Splendor in 2015.