The house band - The Blank Canvas Ensemble - Liverpool - will play "free improvised music" using the music system, "System 50:50 for improvisers " the result is the sound of free improv shaped with silence. This session also features a main act made up of experienced improvisers from the North of England circuit.
a diversity of sounds, shifting foregrounds led by changing personalities sprinkled with tambral melds, unexpected silences, melodies and kitchen clatter.
New members, interested
New members are welcome. There is no formal audition. New members are required to attend one performance as a member of the audience, then we have a discussion.
Venue, date and time
Venue: Ship & Mitre Dale Street, 133 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2JH; More info here
Date: refer to the schedule tab
Doors open: 18.30 BST
Start time: 19.30 BST
All out: on or before 22.30 BST
Door tax: This is a free event.
Subs to be paid by participants: of £3.00 is excempt for this session.
- The Blank Canvas ensemble - the result of an open call
- The House Band a quartet featuring the following
- Clayton Jackson - percussion and electronics
- GILL WHITELEY -keys and strings
- GEOFF BRIGHT - reeds
- PHIL MORTON, accidents and treatments
- We usually finish with another set from the Blank Canvas Ensemble - Liverpool
The Schedule, in a room in Liverpool
- January 26.01.2023 - confirmed, .
- February 23.02.2023 - confirmed,
- March 23.03.2023 - confirmed,
- April 20.04.2023 - confirmed,
Tickets at eventbrite
On 08.12.2022 Eventbrite tickets had not yet been issued.
The Schedule, in a room in Manchester
- The plan is the furst Tuesday of the month, subject to confirmation.
- Find out more at the website Improvisers Networks Online - Manchester section: CLICK HERE
The Online Schedule
There are weekly online sessions on a Monday, Wednesday. Plus Friday sessions every two weeks.
The criteria for the sessions varies, but there is no audition nor open door policy: you need to have a conversation then we can match the session to your needs and experiences.
To apply go to the registration tab to be found in this article and add a note in the comments section of the form that you are interested in the online Blank Canvas sessions.
This ensemble will be called The Blank Canvas Ensemble - Liverpool until we find a better name.
NOTE - This ensemble was previously called `The Blank Canvas Octet` but during the pandemic the ensemble met `online` on zoom. The membership of the group changed. The ensemble now has a different identity to this proposed Liverpool based ensemble. Phil Morton decided to change the name of the Liverpool based ensemble to `sextet`.
Frequency: The aim is to deliver monthly sessions under the title of The Blank Canvas Sextet, within a weekly schedule of events under the banner of `Merseyside Improvisers`
Past and current participants
Here is a list of musicians who may currently appear in and with the Blank Canvas Sextet, .
- IAN SIMPSON, guitar
- PAUL PIGNON [ Stockholm! ]
- ROBIN HARTWELL
- MARTIN HACKETT [ Oxford improvisers ]
- PHIL MORTON, accidents and treatments
- CLAYTON JACKSON, (Lancaster) electronics
- TIM WISE, reeds, Salford.
- SIMON ROSS, Turntables, (Macclesfield)
- GILL WHITELEY, keys and strings (Sheffield)
- GEOFF BRIGHT, reeds
- TIM VEAL, electronic, (Salford)
- DANIEL PAGE, electronics (St Helens)
- 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
The Blank Canvas model is the following
- To play will 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 unmetered)
- To play free ensemble improvisation in music - with a time limit (aka metered)
The Blank Canvas model is not the following
- Graphic scores
- Games amd workshop pieces
- Text pieces
- Conduction or Cobra and their derivatives.
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
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
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.
to promote and establish free ensemble improvisation in music in the region of Merseyside
- 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’
- Merseyside Improvisers` will create a ‘house band’. Concerts will feature the house band and another act.
- 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
- Merseyside Improvisers` will maintain an online webpage. This will include; event information, listings, weblinks to organisations, social media feeds, etc.
- Merseyside Improvisers` will recognise and use digital networks for communication and marketing.
- 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.
- Looking further ahead, the group will create a framework for research and development.
To express an interest, to request more information, to communicate, please complete the form below