This was an afternoon of spontaneous live performances involving the local community in Thurrock, Essex at the Backstage Centre at High House Production Park, Essex, an arena-scale live sound stage on site at my current residency.
The event included performances on new ‘electro-acoustic instruments’ that explored the sensory rhythms of making and thinking, including: knitting, singing, stage lighting and effects. A diverse range of part-sculptural, part-architectural structures were present in the space. These were ‘performed’ by groups of people from the Thurrock area including Lesley Robinson and Knitters Circle, the Royal Opera House Community Choir and the National Skills Academy Creative & Cultural Backstage Training Centre’s Technical Youth Team and South Essex College. Over the first six months working on site on the residency, I have been exploring performance in relation to forms of musical improvisation. These are highly-structured in their bringing together of personal rhythms in one common task, while at the same time spontaneous in the final outcome. This approach allows the performers to be creative and offer their own interpretations. The performances have an emphasis on the temporary, both in their performative nature and in their built forms that use recycled and found materials from around Thurrock. The event explored the ebb and flow of time, of working, of performing, of making and moving together. For one afternoon, the Backstage Centre became a live creative space where the group dynamics of the community, an elemental part of the works, evolved inside and around the sculptures.
The performance further built on the creative collaboration between the partners on the Park; High House Production Park, the Royal Opera House, Creative and Cultural Skills, South Essex College and Acme Studios