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Blank Canvas Ensemble Liverpool 30.05.2024

After a long sabbatical in 2023, The Blank Canvas Ensemble, based in Liverpool, returns.
This session is for musicians to meet new people and play music.
It is also a concert an audience can witness and listen to.

Introduction

The Blank Canvas Ensemble, Liverpool

will perform "free, ensemble, improvised music" on the night using the music system System 50:50 for improvisers. There are usually two sets of thirty-six minutes in duration.

Expect to hear:

A diversity of sounds, shifting foregrounds led by changing personalities sprinkled with timbral melds, unexpected silences, melodies and kitchen clatter.

The ensemble welcomes musicians.

New members are welcome. There is no formal audition. New members are required to attend one performance as an audience member, and then we will have a discussion.

Venue, date and time

Venue: Ship & Mitre Dale Street, 133 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2JH; More info here
Date: 30.05.2024
Get in time: 18.30 for musicians
Doors: 19.15
Start time: 19.30
All out: on or before 22.30
Door tax: This is a free event.
Subs No subs are currenly charged to the participants at this time.
Tickets: are displayed when available at the following eventbrite account: CLICK HERE

 

Schedule

 The Schedule, in a room in Liverpool 

  • Thursday May 30th
  • Thursday June 27th
  • Thursday July 25th
  • August - no event  during August
  • Thursday September 26th

Tickets at eventbrite

The Schedule, in a room in Manchester

  • The plan is the first Tuesday of the month, subject to confirmation.
  • Find out more at the website Improvisers Networks Online - Manchester section:  CLICK HERE

NEW: An Online Schedule as part of a hybrid practice.

  • The Ensemble Liverpool session described here can lead to participation in regular online sessions as part of the new normal, which is hybrid practice.
  • Regular online sessions are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • The criteria for joining the online sessions vary, but there is no audition or open-door policy: you need to have a conversation, and then we can match the session to your needs and experiences.
  • To apply, go to the registration tab in this article and add a note in the form's comments section that you are interested in the online Blank Canvas sessions.

Names

 

Past and current participants

  • ROBIN HARTWELL [ keyboards and small instruments ]
  • PHIL MORTON, accidents and treatments
  • TIM WISE, reeds, Salford.
  • TIM VEAL, electronic, [Salford]
  • GRAEME SHERRIF, keyboard [Manchester]

Lapsed or floating members of the Sextet: Julia Cadman, John Pearson, Adam Roberts, Yashashwi Sharma, Kristina Warren ( returned to the USA), PHIL LUCKING, trumpets, PHIL HARGREAVES, RICHARD HARDING, guitar, DAVID CANTER, bass clarinet, ROB THORPE, guitar (Manchester), ANDREW LESLIE HOOKER, no input mixer (Pandy Tudor), ALEX SCOTT, trombone, SABINE KAUSMALL, guitar, PETE JONES, guitar, IAN SIMPSON, guitar, DANIEL PAGE, electronics [St Helens], GEOFF BRIGHT, reeds, SIMON ROSS, Turntables, [Macclesfield], PAUL PIGNON [ Stockholm! ], CLAYTON JACKSON, [Lancaster] electronics, GILL WHITELEY, keys and strings [Sheffield], MARTIN HACKETT [ Oxford improvisers ]

Musical content

The Blank Canvas model is the following

  • To play "free ensemble improvised music"  using the music system, "System 50:50" - click here for more information
    • The open rehearsal section of the sessions will use System 50:50
  • To play free ensemble improvisation in music - no time limit (aka un-metered)
  • To play free ensemble improvisation in music - with a time limit (aka metered)

The Blank Canvas model is not the following

  • Compositions, prepared in advance.
  • Graphic scores
  • Games and workshop pieces
  • Text pieces, a treatise.
  • Conduction or Cobra and their derivatives.
  • Lo-fi, table-top electronics, experimental music, alternative folk, maximinimalist, non-linear film, field recording, high life jitter, reductionism, dictaphonics, new music, vocal jaxx, sound art, drone, glitch, noise and on and on and on

Some feedback on `System 50:50` from participants

On system 50:50 “Definitely something with LOADS of possibilities - the reaction in the car driving back was unbelievably positive - no one could remember playing in a large ensemble that was so "open". The openness allowed me to play quietly, which meant the dynamics were incredible for an improvising large ensemble.” - Charlie Collins Sheffield

and

System 50/50 works well - it’s a really good way to get a group to play effectively without egos , virtuosity , and shyness getting in the way. It is democratic, inclusive. coherent, leaderless, focused, there is room to think and time to listen, choices. It is less competitive more cooperative. Ends well Simon Ross (Macclesfield), Blank Canvas Sextet - Liverpool

and

It seems to me that any attempt to restrict what free improvisers play, presents a threat to the core nature of their music. Generally, 'To play or not play' is about as far as any predetermination can productively go, the player retaining (almost!) complete formal agency regarding when and what(s)he decides to play - Dan Goren Oxford Improvisers

To express an interest

to request more information, to communicate, please go to the tab above called registration and complete the form therein.

Phil Morton

About System 50:50

The aim is to create something new in a musical sense owned by those present by exploring the possibilities of freedom, improvisation and their limitations. The approach of System 50:50 for improvisers is to shape the sound with silence, to shape the ensemble size from moment to moment, then to empower the musicians with agency. They shape the music through active listening. The System 50:50 approach can be applied to ensembles of any size to achieve the aim


Description

The duration of the piece is agreed before the start of the performance..
A performer must play for 50% of the duration of the piece and remain silent for 50% of the duration of the piece
Example

If the duration of the piece is 16 minutes, the performer plays for 8 minutes and is silent for 8 mins. Each player is free to choose when they play and when they are silent within the duration of the piece but they must have a 50/50 balance between playing and being silent. It is expected that each player will improvise their music.
Quick summary using 50:50 ratio

Each player `improvises` for 50% of the piece
Each player is `tacet` for 50% of the piece
The totals are aggregated
Each player/improviser has their own clock and manages their own time
Each player has `agency` over the content they share during the performance.


System 50:50 for improvisers - Click the link for a detailed description and history.

https://www.improvisersnetworks.online/system-50-50-an-introduction

Delivered by the primary and preferred time management option:

Mechanical chess clocks are required to facilitate the aim of the system. One of the pair of dials is called ‘tacet’ and the other ‘free play’.See image above. Each performer has an individual chess clock to monitor and manage their contribution. The performer plays when the ‘free play’ dial is running down and is silent when the ‘tacet’ dial is running down.

Youtube demonstration, Duration 1 minute Ratio 50:50 or 1:1 Content, is speech, status managed by the rocker (lever): URL LINK

Link to image of an adapted chess clock URL LINK

Selected feedback about system 50:50

Simon Ross (Macclesfield), Blank Canvas Octet - Liverpool

System 50/50 works well - it’s a really good way to get a group to play effectively without egos , virtuosity , and shyness getting in the way. It is democratic, inclusive. coherent, leaderless, focused, there is room to think and time to listen, choices. It is less competitive more cooperative. Ends well.

Charlie Collins Sheffield

On system 50:50 “Definitely something with LOADS of possibilities - the reaction in the car driving back was unbelievably positive - no one could remember playing in a large ensemble that was so "open". The openness allowed me to play quietly, which meant the dynamics were incredible for an improvising large ensemble.”

Dan Goren, Oxford Improvisers.

`"It seems to me that any attempt to restrict what free improvisers play, presents a threat to the core nature of their music. Generally, 'To play or not play' is about as far as any predetermination can productively go, the player retaining (almost!) complete formal agency regarding when and what (s)he decides to play"

Richard Harding Liverpool.

``Sometimes in free improv it is just not working but we carry on in the hope it will get better, in system 50:50 if it (free improv) is not working one can select tacet and stop playing`

Jon Aveyard, Lecturer UCLan University England

`It gives me permission to do nothing`

Helen Conning, Liverpool.

It is democratic

Maggie Nicol - West Wales.

I want to buy twelve 50:50 clocks

The Open House online session supports

  • Ensemble improvisations made without prior preparation.
  • Using Zoom break-out rooms means we can support any number of participants.
  • Open access - there is no peer-to-peer review of applicants - all levels of musical experience are welcome.
  • You can bring whatever is in your sonic toolbox.
  • An online session to support a hybrid working pattern for improvisers.
  • It will increase your frequency of playing and ensemble improvisations.

Zoom Supports.

  • You do not have to travel to the venue, come rain or shine.
  • The participants will come from a more extensive geographical capture.
  • A different social, community vibe - you are often face to face with everyone in the room.
  • In Zoom, it is a simple process for the host to record a session. The Zoom host can share the recordings to support your interest and development in playing improvised music.

System 50:50 for improvisers supports.

  • The shaping of sound with silence
  • The shaping of the ensemble with tacet.
  • System 50:50 works well on Zoom.

Here is what Simon Ross wrote about System 50:50

System 50/50 works well - it’s a really good way to get a group to play effectively without egos , virtuosity , and shyness getting in the way. It is democratic, inclusive. coherent, leaderless, focused, there is room to think and time to listen, choices. It is less competitive more cooperative. Ends well. Simon Ross

about Merseyside Improvisers

Aim: 

to promote and establish free ensemble improvisation in music  in the region of  Merseyside

Objectives: 

  1. Where possible Merseyside Improvisers` will organise weekly music sessions within one hours travel of a center of Liverpool to create opportunities for individuals to regularly play and listen to ‘free improvised music’
  2. Merseyside Improvisers` will create a ‘house band’. Concerts will feature the house band and another act.
  3. Merseyside Improvisers` will support/organise a concert series either directly or indirectly by developing relationships with other organisations in Merseyside to create a cohesive schedule of events
  4. Merseyside Improvisers` will maintain an online webpage. This will include; event information, listings, weblinks to organisations, social media feeds, etc.
  5. Merseyside Improvisers` will recognise and use digital networks for communication and marketing.
  6. To constitute a structure/network called, Merseyside Improvisers`, with an agreed strategic plan and formal steering group. The sole function of the group will be to promote ‘free ensemble improvisation’ and to deliver content within the region of Merseyside. The group will meet regularly to review events and plan in line with its agreed constitution.
  7. Looking further ahead, the group will create a framework for research and  development.

Read More: Here

Registration

Suggested scripts for the form

Name of event, please enter Blank Canvas Ensemble Liverpool
Location: please enter,Liverpool
Comments: add your comments and any requests for support with Zoom and the associated technologies required to support online participation.

Name:*
E-mail:*
Name of the event or project, you have viewed on the website that interests you*
Location of the project if known: if not known, simply enter `not known`*
add your name to the contact list for this project and receive newsletters: .*
Your comments, tell us a little bit about yourself and your interest in this project*
Word Verification: The script is small and can lead to errors. Try the zoom function in your browser settings to make the script larger.

Email: please send an email, sharing your interest in this project to: philmorton@improvisersnetwork.co.uk

To register for this event and project via eventbrite, please follow the link below.
The link will display all events posted to the Improvisers Networks Online account.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/improvisers-networks-online-26497896907

 

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dont forget north west

After a a long sabbatical during 2023 The Blank Canvas Ensemble based in Liverpool, returns
This is: an open rehearsal for musicians to meet, to meet new people, and share music.
It is also a concert an audience can witness and listen to.

ALEXA: AI WRITES

Attention all improvisers and sonic artists! You can now participate in an online schedule as part of a hybrid practice. The Liverpool session, which is described in detail below, can lead to involvement in regular online sessions as part of the "new normal." These sessions occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The criteria for joining these online sessions may vary, but we do not have an audition or open-door policy. Instead, we would like to have a conversation with you to determine which session would best suit your needs and experiences. If you are interested in joining, please visit the registration tab in this article and add a note in the comments section of the form. Let us know that you are interested in the online Blank Canvas sessions.

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