CRAM Record No. 4 - October 2013
Lawrence Upton & Benedict Taylor – DARK VOICES
Taylor & Upton met at Goldsmiths when Taylor was studying for a masters and Upton was an AHRC Research Fellow in the Music Dept. Upon viewing Upton’s indicative scores, Taylor expressed an interest in performing them either as solo viola pieces or in an instrumental group. Upton agreed but said he'd like to join in. Both said they were interested to see how the human voice and viola would interact in the performance of the same visual score i.e., a single image or series of images, not a set of instrumental parts. Both wanted to explore the potential for making live work by cooperation and collaboration without resorting to directives that were not consensually determined.
Both Taylor and Upton claim, at least in the context of their collaborative work, that what is needed is not preparatory rehearsals but collaborative chat, usually over excessive coffee drinking. They may well discuss aspects of the coming performance and or past performance; but the aim is always to try, as far as possible, to experience the score as if for the first time. Thus, the performers of these works start on the instant, which Upton has also called “a small bang”, to find what possibilities the starting out of context creates.
The work included here is taken from two recording sessions, some months apart. The work is often undertaken rapidly and intensively, but rising out of rather relaxed discussions. They aim to complete the whole work, usually no longer than a quarter of an hour, in one take. It is then either kept, with very minimal editing, or abandoned.
Lawrence Upton is a poet, graphic artist, sound artist, composer, curator, editor and performer. He is remarkable for the range of his genres and forms; and for the political savvy of his writing. He studied at Kingston University and Kings College, London., and was AHRC Research Fellow in Music at Goldsmiths, where he is currently Visiting Research Fellow.
Upton is widely considered a pioneer in the creation of new art-work spanning many genres, and is central to a number of progressive art movements in the UK, EU & USA. He has had important associations with many artists, both British and international, in particular with the late Bob Cobbing. He is the director of the acclaimed Writers Forum.
Much of Upton’s practice is rooted in, and birthed from, collaboration and multi-disciplinarity. His work, both as an individual and in partnership, probes the relationship between sound, text, image and performance, exploring and extrapolating new mental landscapes and methodology beyond the existing cannon.
Benedict Taylor is a solo violist & composer. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music & Goldsmiths, and is a leading figure within the area of contemporary string performance.
Taylor is at the forefront of the British & European new and improvised music scene. He performs, records and composes throughout the UK, EU and Asia as a soloist, and as an ensemble performer with groups including London sinfonietta Collective, London Improvisers Orchestra, Regular Music II, Squib Box, Arco, London Contemporary Orchestra, in many of the worlds leading festivals, venues and music broadcasters including Barbican, Southbank Centre, Café Oto, The Vortex, Ronnie Scotts, Royal Albert Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte Montepulciano, Fete De La Musique Berlin, Mopomoso On Tour, BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM, Radio Libertaire France. Through his work he is involved with a number of higher education institutions, giving lectures, seminars & performances at the Royal College of Music and Goldsmiths, University of London, amongst others.
released October 21, 2013
All visual scores and art-works created by Lawrence Upton
All music created by Lawrence Upton & Benedict Taylor
all rights reserved