Cross-disciplinary performance company Clod Ensemble returns with This Is My Room, part-gig and part-installation. Live musicians and an audience take a sonic and visual journey through walls, rooms, cityscapes and skylines from 24th–28th September.
This project sees the Clod Ensemble focus on the live music as a performer, each with theatricality and musical voice. Electronics, viola, cello, violins and a grand piano begin in solitary worlds, slowly coming together through a series of provocations, collisions and negotiations – we witness the ghosts of the musical past square up to the forces of the present.
With an intense, exhilarating sound world from Paul Clark, which interweaves a collage of hundreds of recorded samples of spoken voices played live by Djenaba Davis-Eyo, this immersive, multi-speaker installation is created in collaboration with Manchester Collective, renowned for their innovative experience-driven concerts.
This is a live, intimate experience for a limited audience and an opportunity to get up close to world-class musicians without a stage to separate us.
This is My Room is accompanied by a season of artist development workshops, discussions and listening parties, in which brilliant musicians, performers and designers pick up on some of the themes explored in the piece, including contributions from Errollyn Wallen, Rakhi Singh, Isobel Waller-Bridge, Theo TJ Lowe & Elizabeth Alker.
The programme also features Hackney Rooms, a kaleidoscopic four-track EP created by Electric Farmer made entirely from fragments of sound recorded by a group of young Hackney artists during the lockdown.
Paul Clark, Co-Artistic Director of Clod Ensemble, said: ‘Most musicians, especially classical musicians, have almost certainly spent thousands of hours in solitary practice and yet they are also communicators – with each other and, ultimately with us, their audience. This balance between private and public space – between solitude and community is a theme that is imbued in the fabric of the piece.’
Suzy Willson, co-artistic director of Clod Ensemble, said: ‘When a group of musicians perform together in something that isn’t a conventional concert, something unusual happens, we begin to see them in a different light – perhaps thinking more about their characters, their relationships, the way they negotiate space.’
‘It’s been wonderful to work with musicians who are so up for thinking expansively about their performance, bringing different layers and languages of movement to the piece. In This Is My Room, we see six musicians create and destroy different musical possibilities, as a shifting sonic and visual journey unfolds.’
Rakhi Singh, music director of Manchester Collective, said: ‘I’ve been a huge fan of Clod Ensemble’s work since meeting them six years ago. Through curiosity, lateral thinking and attention to detail, they create powerful experiences that draw you in and make you think.’
‘This Is My Room is no exception. We’ve developed a heightened awareness of our existence within particular spaces, studied the subtlety and power of body language, analysed the physicality of playing an instrument, and learnt how to observe performers and characters in a whole new light. Through this exploration, we’ve all grown as artists and people.’