From 16.-19. October the fourteenth seminar of the Innovative Conservatoire took place in Kallio-Kuninkala, Finland. Falk is member of the team of Creative Directors of ICON. The theme of this seminar was

Improvisation and Playfulness.

Relationship to identity, artistic development & professional practice.

 

The main building of the beautiful area of Kallio-Kuninkala
The main building of the beautiful area of Kallio-Kuninkala

The seminar was led by Bart van Rosmalen en Jo Hensel, and was designed to work with and on improvisation in all of its variaties. This means first of all different musical genres: jazz, free, classical, tonal, contemporary and experimental. From this point on, also interdisciplinary improvisation was included, as not only musicians, but also actors and dancers attended the seminar. Finally, the seminar explored broader ways of understanding improvisation in situation of one-to-one teaching, group lessons, professional collaboration and leadership.

The extended session
The extended session “The Art of Questioning / A Theatrical Dialogue”, led by Bart van Rosmalen.

During the seminar, the ICON-goers experienced the usual variety of different kinds of sessions: The whole group followed a physical movement session led by choreographer and dancer Kerry Nichols, while improvisation experts such as pianist Anto Pett, vocalist Anne-Liis Poll and pianist Aaron Shorr offered dedicated ensemble sessions in slightly smaller groups. This combination of forms was accompanied by several slots in which both participants as well as Creative Directors offered theme sessions for small groups, in which they worked on more individual and experimental themes, or on forms they use in their own work. Falk led two sessions here, one using a playful work form called Plaii, developed by Dutch art educator Annemarie Geerling, and Learning by Making, an already more tested-out form that explores the relationship between artistic practice and reflection, developed by Tet Koffeman, Bart van Rosmalen en Falk Hübner.

Participants during the
Participants during the “The Art of Questioning” session.

A special part of the seminar was devised by two time slots on the second and third day. The main house of Kallio-Kuninkala was transformed into a place of quietness and reflection, called the ”Reflective House”. Participants were invited, though not obliged, to come and reflect on the sessions, the collected experiences and viewpoints. It was possible to do this individually or to join in with dedicated reflective work forms, such as ”Improvised Writing” (Bart van Rosmalen), ”Silent Coaching” (Gerda van Zelm) or ”Reflecting through Making” (Jo Hensel).

Working quietly in and during the
Working quietly in and during the “Reflective House”.

As part of the preparations for the seminar, each participant was asked to bring some of their own books to the seminar that were related to the main theme. These books were collected to be part of a pop-up “library”, which was part of the Reflective House. Everybody could come here, look through the impressive yet contemplative variety of the books, read, and leave a trace – in form of a written note, a small drawing or any other kind of tangible reflection.

The collected books of the pop-up
The collected books of the pop-up “Library”.

The participants’ reactions on this seminar of the Innovative Conservatoire was overwhelmingly positive, with many participants voicing their enthusiasm in long feedback emails, asking for more continuous collaboration among the new-found colleagues and friends.

The performances of I will carry you over hard times at the Amsterdam Fringe festival have just been concluded. Maarten Zaagman performed the work at different places in the South and West of Amsterdam, and a number of performances in the heart of the festival, the Compagnietheater.

Both audience as well as professionals were enormously positive about the work. Many of them were impressed by the rhythmical virtuosity of the synchronicity between live gestures and soundtrack, the immense physicality of the closing sections, and the diverse intersecting layers of musical structure, bodily movement and objects in the stage space.

It was fascinating to witness and to experience the enormous and unexpected flexibility of the piece. Outside, in black box theatres, during lectures and in university spaces. Falk and Maarten leave the festival with a few more thoughts for the performance’s further development, which will lead to hopefully exciting experiments during the upcoming performances in Rotterdam in October (see dates).

As the next season has just begun, there are a number of exciting announcements. Here is an overview of the activities during the next months.

Next performance series I will carry you over hard times

After the succesful performances at the Delft Fringe Festival, Maarten Zaagman is going to perform the intensely physical I will carry you over hard times again. He will perform the piece during the Amsterdam Fringe Festival in the heart of the festival, the Compagnietheater in Amsterdam. Afterwards there will be three more performances at Crimp, the multidisciplinary underground series in Rotterdam, curated and organised by visual artist Arnold Schalks. For all performance dates, see here.

Premiere of silencio

Falk continues to work on silencio, a new upcoming music theatre work with Dutch-Australian trumpet player Sef Hermans. Although the exact date and location of the premiere is not yet set, it will likely be in spring in Pamplona, Spain. Relevant news will be announced as soon as possible, for some first information of the piece, see here.

First artistic output Live video research

In the first half of the season, from autumn to winter, Falk will work on the first artistic output of the three year long artistic research project on live video in music theatre, as part of his work at the HKU Research Centre Performative Processes. The artistic work will use the outcomes of the live video lab earlier this year, and develop these into a performance installation in four parts. Each of these parts will provide a distinct concept of using live video in relation to musical gestures and the instrument, as well as present the double bass in a unique experimental setting that challenges its identity as a musical instrument. This will also be the first time since a few years that Falk will act as a performer. The concept of the work will be available shortly on the sub page of the research project.

Performative Processes in Cape Town

The core team of the Research Centre Performative Processes is invited to present their research of the IYANTWAY project at the Multimodal Landscapes conference in Cape Town. Within the “research” strand of the conference the team will present Transforming Absence. Art as bridge from multimodal experiences to transdisciplinary collaboration.

The contribution explores the work and creative process of a group of artists in the transdisciplinary research project If you are not here, where are you?, between medicine, neuroscience and interdisciplinary arts. Nine artists from different artistic disciplines work in a collaboration with a group of eight young people between eight and 28 years old. Aim of the project is to find a language for the often fearful and misunderstood experiences that children have during absence seizures. Together with the children the artists create artistic utterances (music, paintings, interactive installations, etc.) that match with the experience before, during or after a seizure; to make the invisible experience visible, audible, experienceable.

In most cases the experiences of the young people during were multimodal, and much more described as holistic experiences than concretely within one artistic discipline or medium. One of the challenges was creating artistic works that do justice to the nature of the experiences. The presentation at the conference will address the challenges during this transformative process from multimodal experience to interdisciplinary art works. It will discuss the possible relevance and impact – of both the artistic collaboration between artists and children, as well as the “performative research” methodology – on research outside of the arts.

Teaching at Master Artist Educator

“If art is to chance the world, then artists must become agents of change.”

John Johnston, Head of International Master Artist Educator

With the beginning of this academic year, Falk starts to work as member of the core team of the master course Artist Educator (IMAE) at ArtEZ Arnhem, headed by John Johnston. IMAE takes the artistry of practitioners as a radical point of departure for education. The students’ artistic work and practice, which largely happens in context, will be at the centre of this studio-based program. For more information about the program, see here.

In June and July, trumpet player Sef Hermans and Falk Hübner finished their first work period for the new music theatre “silencio”, inspired by David Lynch’s “Club Silencio” in his well-known movie “Mulholland Drive”. The work will use texts by Lynch as well as the poem “Remainders” by New Zealand poet Lynley Edmeades, and will work with themes such as absence, loneliness, darkness and identity.

(photos by Beatriz Pomes Jimenez)

In the summer and autumn of 2016 the new work I will carry you over hard times with percussion player Maarten Zaagman will be performed several times, including the official premiere at the Delft Fringe festival.

Falk Hübner and Maarten Zaagman have worked in a close collaboration on the performance since 2015. Parts of the work have been shown at various conferences as part of lecture performances by Hübner. For the exact dates see here.

Poster sample

The core team of the Research Centre Performative Processes (RECPEP) of HKU University of the Arts has recently returned from Prague. Nirav Christophe, Henny Dörr, Joris Weijdom and Falk Hübner attended the “Artistic Research: Is there some Method” conference. They presented a collaborative lecture performance that touched on three different research projects of the Research Centre:

  1. Nirav Christophe’s theory of polyvocality
  2. Performative Research as research methodology
  3. The transdisciplinary research project “If you are not here, where are you?” as a case study

The lecture performance experimented with a mode between”talking about” and “doing it”. While the researchers elaborated on the research project and their own role between artist, researcher and collaborator, Christophe silently commented these elaborations with cards carrying the names of different “voices” (such as voice of the artist, of the ego, the child, the collaborator, and so on).

Read the full abstract here: RECPEP Prague abstract.

Next to the lecture as such, the team distributed a number of statements under the title “Prague Provocations” (see image).

On April 14th, the next edition of Setting the Tone will be about relations between image and sound in the performing arts, and the interdisciplinary creative processes in this kind of work. 

The guests of this edition are renowned composer/director Arnoud Noordegraaf and object theatre company Tamtam. They will tell about their work, and about the creative process that leads to intimate relationships between images and sound.

As always, Setting the Tone starts at 17:00 by having dinner together. Everybody is welcome to bring instruments. 

Click here for more information (in Dutch).

On thursday, 3rd and 17th of March Falk Hübner conducted the third live video lab at HKU Utrechts Conservatory. Both sessions focussed on involving and adding screen projection to the previous experiments. 

  

During the two sessions the work on setups for miniature pieces for prepared double bass, live electronics and live video continued. This was fueled by the visit of the head of the Research Centre Performative Processes, Nirav Christophe. He and Falk had an intense exchange on the 17th of March, which ended up in a collective making session where both gave shape to a series of four performance-installations as artistic outcome of the lab series, in a co-creative fashion.

  

The concept and result of this project will be anounced and documented soon.

  

On Thursday, February 11th, Falk Hübner carried out the second Live Video Lab session, as part of the larger live video research within the Research Centre Performative Processes. While the first session live video lab had focussed on the sound possibilities, this second one was dedicated to experimenting with first visual ideas.

During the session, Falk worked with the same preparations used previously, and photographed a variety of settings from different positions and in different framings.

This resulted in a series of images that evoke a variety of associations – such as lots of paper clips hanging from the strings that may evoke the image of a colorful curtain moving in the wind.

IMG_2921 (1).JPG

IMG_2936.JPG

The double bass became utilized as a large landscape, building or structure, demanding to be discovered from unusual viewpoints.

IMG_2943.JPG

IMG_2950.JPG

The next two labs will shift the focus towards moving images and live projection. These will be the first experiments that instigate the relation between the (filmed) musical action and its processed outcome on screen.

IMG_2948.JPG