‘In the Torture Chamber’: improvisation, recording, production and the collective imagination in artistic research

Paterson, Justin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7822-319X, Sholl, Robert, Visser, Andy, Exarchos, Michail and McCready, Anna (2022) ‘In the Torture Chamber’: improvisation, recording, production and the collective imagination in artistic research. In: European Platform for Artistic Research in Music - EPARM 2022, 7-9 April 2022, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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‘In the Torture Chamber’: Improvisation, recording, production and the collective imagination in artistic research
This session presents and discusses one improvised track from a set of 14 recorded in Coventry Cathedral in July 2021. These form a meta-narrative of Gaston Leroux’s novel Le Phantôm de l’Opéra (1910) which will be called Les ombres du Phantôm; implying shadows of ideas/themes/characters in the book. This track – In the Torture Chamber was recorded twice as a five-person collaboration and exploratory engagement between an improvising trio, an experimental recordist and a retrospective audio manipulator.
The question that animated this work was to explore how individual imaginations could shape one syncretic and collective imagination across time – an imagination that committed to advanced technical planning, employed spontaneous musical improvisation, and concluded with carefully crafted digital re- imagination to render the final artefact – a hybrid of the two performances.
Other questions that animated this research included finding an appropriate language that would form a a meta-narrative of the book and how the organ (in a church) can interact and be extended by electronic manipulation. The process of engagement between the contributors formed a critical evaluation of the method, where processes on the day extended into discussions after, and the determination of the end product. Working in this way provided insight onto the practice of each individual, allowing both evolution and retrospective calibration to take place.
In this presentation each participant will speak for two minutes about what they imagined and what insights came from this practice in the space at this time, how they thought sound might be used, and what they understood from the end product for future practice.
• Professor Robert Sholl (organ) will first introduce how this track relates to and moves beyond Leroux’s story, and he will detail a psychoanalytical perspective (Hogle 2002; Žižek 2007 and 2016), and how this was imagined and crafted through the cathedral organ.
• Dr Anna McCready (soprano) will explain her approach to the psychology of the situation and experience, and her use of extreme vocal techniques in this collaboration (Anhalt, 1984).
• Andy Visser (saxophones and bass clarinet) will discuss his choice of timbres, textures and extended performance techniques.
• Dr Mike Exarchos will detail the numerous parallel approaches used to capture the idiosyncrasies of the performances and the cathedral’s acoustic.
• Professor Justin Paterson will describe how the production aesthetic was conceived and then realised by digital-audio-manipulation tools and advanced techniques.
The presentation will conclude with playback of the unique and disturbing final artefact.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: This was a live performance, presentation, and annotated video playback of a prior processed performance recorded at Coventry Cathedral in 2021.
Keywords: Performance Presentation
Subjects: Music > Composition
Music > Composition > Electronic composition
Music > Music/audio technology
Music > Music performance
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Justin Paterson
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 14:46
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/9000

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