Artistic Give and Take

For the finale of one of my Fringe theatre shows, I had a group of dancers hidden among the audience, who sprang to life during the last song of the evening. Several were students at Bath Spa University. One of these, Natasha Parker-Edwards, then asked me if I’d like to contribute to her degree piece ‘Femme Maison’.

This was inspired by the work of artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois. Coincidentally, I had just been to an exhibition of her work, which was inspirational. We decided to use found objects that would be incorporated within the performance to generate sound. These were combined with readings of snippets of Bourgeois’ writings.

2020 Vision

Following Femme Maison, Natasha – a fine artist, as well as dancer – was granted studio space at the Bath Artists Studios. She approached me with the idea of collaborating on a piece for her installation ‘Pelt & Roaring’. Originally, this would be a soundscape to accompany Natasha’s film, sculpture and visual art, together with elements of dance within the exhibition space.

Unfortunately, Covid meant the project had to be abandoned. However, I was keen to make use of the resulting soundtrack. So, I was pleased to receive a call for submission for a sound installation, titled ‘Tipping Point’, as part of Fringe Arts Bath 2022. Curated by Anna Nobakov, this gave the audio and film elements a public airing, now under the title 2020 Vision.

Take Note

Since 1992, I’ve been providing schools with music for dance education. This has evolved into a comprehensive library of teaching resources but began when I initially offered music to schools for their dance lessons. Original music still provides the backbone and has enabled me to build an extensive, varied library of tracks in all styles and genres.

Experimenting With Collaboration

As a student, I became fascinated by the creative potential of collaborating with other artists. The area that specifically caught my attention was contemporary dance. Here was an art form that not only allowed for but actively encouraged experimentation.

During my time at Middlesex Polytechnic, I used improvisation, graphic scores, multi-track recording and basic MIDI sequencing to create scores for dancers. Having to find ways to meet the demands of complex choreography, whilst delivering a finished piece in time for a deadline was a terrific learning experience. Gaining immediate feedback from both the performers and audiences was hugely rewarding.

Dance Credits

Roar & Pelting – choreographer: Natasha Parker Edwards

Femme Maison – choreographer: Natasha Parker-Edwards

The Crash Dummies choreographer: Lisa Haworth, Rachel Bradbear, Katrina Etherton

Knowing How To choreographer: Lisa Haworth, Rachel Bradbear, Katrina Etherton

Family Values choreographer: Rachel Bradbear

Has Anyone Seen My Donkey? – choreographer: Vicky Kate

Fallen Giants – choreographer: Sara Schena

Sister Act – choreographer: Katherine MacKenzie

Thicker Than Water – choreographer: Sara Shena

A Way of Being – choreographer: Chris Alcock

Lady Macbeth – choreographer: Lorraine Wright

Under the Mulberry Tree – choreographer: Laura Brown

Glass Houses – choreographer: Nancy Gamboyan