Shackle is Anne La Berge on flute and electronics and Robert van Heumen on laptop-instrument. Their aim is to explicitly and subtly exploit shackling in both concept and material.

Timeart / Shackle / Trytone collaboration

by Robert on February 2, 2012

The Cologne-based TimeArt ensemble and a Dutch contingency selected by Shackle presented a structured improvised music piece for 11 musicians at Trouw De Verdieping on February 2, 2012. A hand picked international group of virtuosic, acoustic and electronic musicians performing a 45-minute impro-composition.



The improvisation was guided by a version of the Shackle System. Three lcd screens were put in front of the players. Screenshots of the various musical sections below. The system proved to be very useful, also (or maybe: especially) for such a big group. One thing we learned though is that people respond very differently to such a system. The majority of players initially wanted more direction than the system gave them. In some way the system initially seems to block people’s creativity, they act like they have a score before them and they work had to try to understand what ‘the composer’ ment by the instructions. It takes them a while to grasp that the instructions are just guidelines, and that primarily this is improvisation, with hints of directions to go into. Once they understand it, every runthrough of the piece becomes different, while still keeping some kind of unity.

The difference in responding to the system probably depends on one’s position towards authority. Some people tend to do what they’re told, while others instinctively go against it.


This was a collaboration between Shackle, Timeart, Trytone and STEIM.