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Arnolfini - est 1961

This practical workshop led by Lisa Busby will focus on alternative, non-instrument based approaches to composition and songwriting, exploring strategies of repetition, decay, collage and improvisation.

Based on her own experience creating works using the voice, turntables and tapes, Lisa will explore the territory where strategies for experimental music meet those for songwriting. The workshop will celebrate approaches that do not rely on traditional instrumental techniques and skill sets, and support participants in developing their own personal methodology for using any sounding object as a starting point for composition or songwriting.   

The day will comprise examination and discussion of contemporary and historical context, experimenting and composing with playback media and other hardware, working with words and the voice, and will culminate in a series of performances by the participants.

This workshop is best suited to those with an interest in sound art, experimental music and popular song, but previous practice in those fields is not necessary. You might have experience in one of these fields and wish to expand it into the others, but again this is not necessary.

Duration: 3 hours

No experience with reading or writing any form of musical notation is required, nor do you need to be able to play any instruments or be an experienced composer/songwriter.

Practical exercises will be undertaken individually and in groups. Bring along the confidence to talk and work within a group, and crucially the sensitivity and generosity to support others with constructive and considered feedback. Be prepared to work with your voice in some way – with utterance, speaking or singing.

Resources & Preparation:

All equipment will be provided but participants are encouraged to bring along a selection of the following which they may find inspiring or useful for the workshop:

– Small, portable playback devices (for example cassette walkmans, battery powered turntables, etc)

– Tapes, records, or other forms of recorded media

– Small, portable recorders (for example dictaphones, smart phones, etc)

– Any other small sounding devices (for example hand percussion, children’s toys, etc)

– Guitar pedals or other small processors

– Books or other source texts for collaging or just inspiration

Please only bring items that can fit in your backpack or handbag – no large instruments! You might also want to bring along a notepad and pen.

Lisa Busby is a musician, artist and DJ. She performs and composes with bands The Nomadic Female DJ Troupe, Rutger Hauser and Sleeps in Oysters. She is particularly interested in using domestic or outdated playback media as instruments, but also works in text based score, installation and site specific performance. She is Lecturer in Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she has designed and led courses in sampling, songwriting, music production, DIY music and interdisciplinarity, and creative research. 

This event accompanies Saisonscape: Decay produced in collaboration between ONOMATO, Art Assembly and Arnolfini.