Programme: Creative Music Practice - PhD

Start date: October 2014

Mode of study: Full time

Research title: Following Witches: Entanglement of bodies in the politics of free improvisation

Breathing, spitting and speaking through Saxophone. Amplification and distortion of signals travelling through Saxophone.

Preferring group improvisation with friends. Too much sweat on stage is bad. Often playing along machines that make loud noises. Saxophone blends in.

Experimenting with a PhD in Creative Music Practice. Hoping to submit a box full of materials telling stories on how male practice idioms are boring. How Saxophone can be touched in different ways. Constructing thoughts making us think more about how we make bodies (non/human) and appropriating these into our political system. Is there a way to resist this?

Making music using objects, Saxophone, electronic things, DIY microphones that do not work. Lately discovered speaking through Saxophone is quite good fun.

Free improvisation is sounding in real time. A performance that is in constant exchange with the space, people, objects, culture, history, politics. Writing/researching free improvisation requires a text equally performative and in process as the performance of sounds itself.

A Feminist Manifesto for free improvisation. Understanding the making of bodies (human and nonhuman). This research focuses on an attempt to resist patriarchal structures in free improvisation, from practice to knowledge. The institutionalisation of free improvisation allowed a practice that once claimed to be 'outside of the institution' to become an important neoliberal actor within. Schools of thought around free improvisation circle predominately around male practices. Relying on dichotomies on mind over body, practice over instrument, research over practice. Quantification and research outcomes of a practice that once claimed to resist political oppression.

This research is a multitude of voices and bodies speaking along political activism. Presenting important actors that 'stage free improvisation', including male-centred practices of playing the saxophone. Muscle over instrument. Strict regimens of practice routines establishing a physical and mental superiority over the instrument and other people. Can we resist this bodybuilding attempt? Feminist improvisation rather argues for an erotic exchange of bodies inside a momentary performance space. Muscles are less important than spit.

"The Erotic as Power" [Audre Lorde] looks at the relationship of non/human skins touching. A metal body [saxophone] touching a wet human tongue. Focusing on wet, liquid substances travelling through tools. Spit dribbling down Saxophone's body. Her body hooked to human body. Microphones observing and amplifying the sounds emerging from inside.

I am working on ways of writing and thinking giving content to experiences in free improvisation. Offering a way of thinking about the materialisation of practice onto bodies. Tightly tied into body politics and the current political state.​

Saxophone is a character speaking. Her voice and her feelings when spit dribbles down her tube. When her body is hooked to mine. Whose voice speaks when? Scholarly ideals are not followed. Rather, I am working on complex assembling process of making a free improvisation body.

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