my my mime

choreography for any group of musicians
January – May 2015; c. 15′

Devised with The Assembled.
Premiere: The Assembled, 3rd May 2015, St Martin-cum-Gregory Church, The Assembled presents LINE/SHADOW, York Spring Festival 2015
2nd performance: The Assembled, 14th October 2015, Watch again hear concert, University of York
3rd performance: The Assembled, 6th March 2016, Castaway Arts Fest, Goole

A key aim of my PhD research has been how to enable a rehearsal space in which musicians with little or no experience of movement, or physical/musical improvisation, can devise physical and musical material comfortably and thoughtfully. My idea has been that music-theatre works are not composed ‘onto’ a performer, but with.

We began making my my mime by observing the physical gestures of each other’s playing. Improvisation games using only these gestures focused our ensemble communication. I drew on contemporary dance and theatre influences to add movement games such as mime, musical statues and flocking, to shape and direct the piece.

LINE/SHADOW was a site-specific performance at the Stained Glass Centre. The performers, the audience, and the pieces by Cat Lamb, Ricardo Alvarez, me and Joseph Kudirka, all moved seamlessly around the space.

This metamorphosed into a theatrical silence, with players brandishing their instruments, freezing in photogenic stages, scuttling subtly into the next tableaux. Then, to close the show, they incrementally shuffled towards pianist Tom McMahon-Hore, eventually disappearing behind glass, where they peered curiously at the audience, their mission done, with only the stored-up applause to break out.
Review by Martin Longley, All About Jazz