The performative aspects of contemporary space - Negotiating new rooms in improvised music.
This is a case study based on the Anglo/Norwegian trio The Geordie Approach performing improvised music within the compounds of European kulturfabrikker/ kultúrny uzol (‘cultural factories’).
The decades old phenomenon of derelict and abandoned factories attracting the creative, subcultural and deviant aspects of the underground scenes within our urban environments is as vibrant as ever within European art scenes. Indeed, even such dispersed authorities as local councils, national funding agencies and the EU (!) are diverting funding towards these bustling cultural centres, often justified within a large spectre of cultural policies ranging from arts funding (local sustainability), regeneration (gentrification) and branding (cultural capital and image building).
The attraction for the experimental arts towards the hard grind production environments of derelict factories is relatively logic. These large spaces represent an attractive array of possibilities for arts- production, attached from commerciality and with opportunities for building a home for the local underground scene.
Performing such spaces is a curious experience, where musicians often encounter a whole new set of expectations, norms and codes outside the established divisions of musical genre. For improvised music this often fuels new musical outcomes as musicians are able to work outside the restrictions often encountered in heavily branded venues like a jazz- or a rock club.
Relevant issues are:
• Voluntary work, idealism and hidden economies
• Radical thinking, politics and aesthetics
• Subcultural belonging and musical communities
• Performance perspectives, musical codes and audience response
Subsequently this paper will deal with the particular fusion between improvised music and cultural factories, and see how the trio The Geordie Approach manoeuvred and negotiated the performative, cultural- and political aspects of these spaces; ranging from an old (still functional) train station (Stanica) to an abandoned tobacco factory (Tabacka), via a long closed brewery (Tou Scene).
Av Petter Frost Fadnes - Undervisningsleder for jazz ved IMD