The title of my artistic doctorate is ‘Embodied Algorithms: Formalising embodied habits to explore and develop improvisation languages’.
This research aims to develop new possibilities as a performer of improvisation-based music, build the necessary tools to implement and include them in my playing, and realise artistic projects based on the new findings.
At its core, my research wishes to expose some of the most private processes – thus often hidden from the audience – which are nevertheless essential for the improviser’s artistry: how a language is formed, its potential limits, the creation of tools, habits and the definition of strategies to develop new material, the non-verbal communication between performers.
The first step of my research consisted of a process of audiovisual documentation and analysis of various improvisers’ languages and strategies. This stage allowed me to understand which are the constitutive elements of the selected improvisers’ language, how they are used in building bigger blocks during an improvised performance and how those blocks are used and developed within a group improvisation context.
Doctoral concert, ‘Holograms’
The first concert of my doctorate, called ‘Holograms’, explores and dramatises this relationship between improvisers and their own languages as well as their embodied actions. During the concert four leading artists from the field of free improvisation will perform with themselves via a holographic live doppelgänger, created using audiovisual recordings of their improvisations, and controlled and projected live via a human-controlled sampler player.
This dramatization of a research process is functional in creating a particular performative situation, akin to a staged laboratory, useful to gather answers to my research questions as well as generating additional ones. What will be the reactions emerging when improvisers perform with themselves? To what extent is an improviser aware of his/her embodied habits? Will the holograms performers find new musical perspective in the recorded material unforeseen by the live player?
From the plethora of approaches present in the Berlin improvised-music scene, I selected players who often work at the intersection between contemporary music and post-free jazz, hence closer to my own improvisatory style. I consider this stylistic trend particularly suitable for my research as it is often characterised by easily identifiable materials and by the coexistence of both idiomatic and non-idiomatic elements.
As the live players and their holograms will perform in different combination during the concert, great care has been put in choosing sonic worlds that can function in any combination, from solo to octet (four live players and four holograms), while providing a wide timbric palette.
The audiovisual part (the Holograms) will be performed by myself and other three Finnish professional improvisers, to be announced.
Lineup and links
Libero Mureddu (FIN), artistic director, concept creator, live audiovisuals, project manager and producer,
Harri Sjöström (FIN/DE), soprano saxophone,
Vincent von Schlippenbach (DE), turntables
Antonio Borghini (IT/DE), double bass,
Christian Lillinger (DE), drums,
Alisha Davidow (FIN), visual director,
Alexis Baskind (FR/DE), sound engineer,
Max Hilsamer (DE), camera and lighting operator,
To be announced, 3 Finnish-based improvisers performing with me the holographic material