This Summer will see two new residencies at BOM: artists Joe Wright and Rachel Henaghan will work with us to develop their practices. Read on to find out what they will be up to.
Joe Wright is a sound artist and saxophone player. He has been recording and performing improvised pieces under the name Solo Saxophone since 2014. Experimentation and improvisations are two of the main concepts driving Joe’s work, as he is constantly trying to challenge his preconceptions about instrumental performance. He is also part of the improvisational trio duck-rabbit and a part of the team behind Dreamland, a 2014 commission for Turner Contemporary.
Joe’s main research focuses on accessible experimental music and neurodiverse audiences. His PhD is centred around music interaction design for young people on the autistic spectrum. This research will hopefully lead to fruitful exchanges of ideas and perspectives between artists and neurodiverse audiences. One of the main aims is to explore how curiosity-driven musical processes can be more inclusive.
As part of his residency at BOM he will be running the Open Saxophone Duets, a series of one-to-one musical performances. This series will bring together playful but focused experimentation with the drive to involve audiences beyond free jazz enthusiasts. The Open Saxophone Duets will create a warm and welcoming atmosphere as opposed to the elitist one that is usually associated with experimental music circles. In these participatory performances, Joe will play duets with individual members of the public. No previous knowledge or musical skills will be required to take part. The artist and the audience will be collaboratively exploring the saxophone using objects and technology rather than conventional blowing techniques. At the end, these performances will make abstract, difficult music more accessible – and communicate the joy, playfulness and exploratory nature of music through equal collaboration.
Rachel’s practice examines the impact of shift work in the emergency services on health and well-being. She is interested in how repeated exposure to stresses combined with sleep deprivation negatively affect a person’s immune system. She is interested in subtle or even imperceptible changes in sound and light that might make an environment uncomfortable or intolerable. These small, seemingly uneventful interventions might be considered a way of communicating hidden anxieties or distress which is often suppressed. Such changes may be determined from recorded heart rates or sleep data but also potentially through experiments with remote live feeds.
Rachel works with easily accessible equipment and apps to collate samples of low level noise and light. She hopes to orchestrate these to create moments which may be associated with fear and apprehension, or relief and calm. What happens when removed from those environments is equally important, and as she consolidates her initial ideas, she is looking for ways to measure responses during and after positive activity, specifically outdoor swimming.
Check back to see the developments of their work later in the year. If you are interested in a residency at BOM, you can read more here.