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Fly Me To Ipanema

Artistic research will eat itself ~ opening eveing

01 april 2017


Our treatment for the Artistic Research Will Eat Itself conference performance:

"The Imperfect Orchestra is predominantly a vehicle for composition and performance of new musical material. Historically, this has been in response to moving image texts, but for some time we have been keen to explore other opportunities to develop soundtrack and compositions in new and inventive ways. We recognise, however, that all of our work draws on cultural and societal influences in a way that could be argued as 'cannibalistic'; we have borrowed from Shostakovich, taken from Queens of the Stone Age, and downright stolen from Godspeed You! Black Emperor, not to mention recent riffing on Morricone. This has normally been undertaken in a very controlled schema where everything is written - whether formally or informally - and a score is produced ahead of any performance. Within this framework, IO has contextually drawn on the influence and research of Imperfect Cinema, elements of constructivism and, to some extent, the problems of class in a 'post-classist' society to create a sort of 'post-classical' composition using whatever instrumentation (and indeed non-instrumentation) and players we can embrace into the collective. 


Our intentions for the ARWEI conference are about breaking with some of these ideas but embracing the cannibalistic nature of arts and culture in an improvisational format. Using the ideas of muzak and dysfluency as starting points, The Imperfect Orchestra will cannibalise 'easy listening' background music in a manner in-keeping with the social nature of the performance space. Using repetition and distortion of this interpretation of 'muzak', we will attempt to create a sense of Lynchian dis-ease that draws attention to the fact that by exploring, discussing and sharing ideas around 'auto-cannibalisation within art research' they are engaging in auto-cannibalisation of art research. Furthermore, we will explicitly engage in a practice known as 'delayed auditory feedback' (DAF) in order to attempt to ironically disrupt and problematise these discourses through individual dysfluency. It is hoped that as attendees begin to make themselves aware of the performance, they will engage with it in a participatory and convivial manner that forces The Imperfect Orchestra out of the role of 'disruptor' and into the implicit broadcaster of such cannibalisation.


It is fair to say that this is new territory for IO and is both speculative, experimental and performative in its approach. Where there is ordinarily order and rehearsal there will be disorder and improvisation. Where there has been moving image there will be the performance of academic socialising. And where there has been a dedicated audience, there will be a disinterested gathering. 


As with all Imperfect Orchestra performances, this will be recorded by us as part of our ongoing capture and archive of our work." 

(The Imperfect Orchestra, 2017)

Members: Shane McKenna / Chris Bailey / Tom Richardson / Chris Muirhead

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