HALF-TIME COMPILATION

Story of the SHARE Project’s first round

It’s already been a year since the SHARE project started. One year that made us learning every day about the potential of gathering on improvising stage in Europe. Concerts, workshops, jam sessions, training days, recordings, formed the pattern of these last months. Even more, was all those undefinable moments of life that talk of collaborative projects, even in this 2020-21 time which totally hampered the chance to play together.

It takes years to shape the personality of a project, to grow it up, to name those who will enjoy bringing it to life, and spreading it. SHARE can only grow through the strength of each individual, through the collective and the determination to help each other. It needs all those who want to be part of it.

How to deal with a network as big as Europe? How to dream of a project which involves so many professionals? How to value the different visions, take on board the points of view, leave the ego aside? How to always write, rewrite, confront reality, give up ideas, open the door to new ones? Let the collective work take place.

Come and see. Come and see the dialogue on stage, the interaction, the intuition and creativity. What makes sense for you could make sense for us. What makes sense for us could make sense for you.

It’s happening! We’re happy to share with you that it’s happening and it’s underway. Who knows, perhaps it will keep going with the picture of a Federation, which is growing up in the minds of all of us.

 

AN OVERVIEW OF 6 ARTISTIC MEETINGS 

FRANCE

March 2021, Arcueil, SPIME. For 4 years, the French collective Le Fondeur de son has been organizing “improvisation labs” called SPIME at Anis Gras – Le Lieu de l’autre, an old distillery of the XIXth century rehabilitated in artistic and cultural space near Paris.

In 2021, SPIME took place within the framework of SHARE, but the sanitary conditions and the lockdown have considerably limited the European scope of the event. Only Elena Waclawiczek (dance, Austria) and Marie Takahashi (violin, Germany) managed to make it.

What can we offer behind closed doors? How can we spread SHARE when we can’t open to the audience or support the mobility of European artists, which is the spearhead of the project?

In the end, SPIME was the opportunity for SHARE to be more settled on the national territory. Other French collectives were invited, strengthening partnerships: The Muzzix collective in Lilles with Sakina Abdou, the Grand 8 collective in Marseille with Sean Drewry and the Capsule Collectif in Tours with Nicolas Persigan.

We also invited more other disciplines during the Jams: texts, poetry, theater and dances, orienting this edition towards transdisciplinarity. 

SHARE’s crucial mission of supporting free improvisation is building bridges between practices. A partnership with the Demos class, which brings together young amateur musicians, has allowed an introduction to improvisation.

Musician/dancer exchange at SPIME

 

ITALY

May 2021, Gravina in Puglia, Free Flow Fest. The 9th edition of the Free Flow Fest, the first without the audience because of the restrictions, was the opportunity for many musicians to meet each other again, debate and play together on stage after several months of social distancing.

From 21st to 23rd May 2021, they explored the musicians’ ability to interact, listen to each other and search for distinctive and expanded sounds.

Three the collectives hosted by Cricket Productions in the setting of “hortus, il giardino delle Officine”, a wonderful big garden in the heart of southern Italy: N.E.D from Rome, Dobia Lab from north-eastern Italy, Muzic Plus from Altamura.

During the three workshops helded by Paolo Pascolo, Marco Olivieri and Marcello Magliocchi, they argued about the idea that the free, improvised, instantaneous composition is self-constructing, finding beauty and form above the performers’ intentions.

It has been a journey that led all the participants to reflection and responsibility of choice in a sound context of improvised music realised through listening and sharing.

The last day of the FFF saw the creation of some emotional paintings and installations by Lia Barbara, an arts teacher, and her guys; they gave shape and colour to feelings and emotions, inspired by the FFF impro ensemble and the beautiful landscape surrounding them.

Some of the musicians composing the FFF ensemble with a little girl attending the cultural action moment.

 

PORTUGAL

June 2021, Atouguia da Baleia, MIA Festival. Since 2010, Zpoluras has organized the Encontros de Música Improvisada. This year again, 35 musicians walked through the small old cobbled streets to reach the local but now famous Philharmonic hall.

They came by plane, by bus, by car, for improvising together, carried out musical activities with children, and jammed all day. The audience was there and the programme of musical sets stirred up enthusiasm: diversity of many different ensembles combinations and affinity were definitely the order of the event.

For 10 years, the ambition of the MIA has been to create a meeting place for international improvisors musicians. In 2021, because of the lockdown, the edition was smaller, but also in a more family atmosphere, maybe even more warm.

Members of the SHARE collectives got together again after months of not playing on the same stage: Carlo Mascolo (Trombone, Italy), François Mellan (Sousaphone, France), Niels Mestre (Guitar, France), Jonathan Aardestrup (Double Bass, Denmark), Maria Dybbroe (Saxophone, Denmark), Paulo Chagas (Flute, oboe, Portugal) and many others, were delighted to meet again. It was also a valuable and much appreciated opportunity to talk about the SHARE project in real life after months of videoconferencing.

You can see and listen to the recordings here.

Jonathan Aardestrup (bass), Elisabetta Lanfredini (voice), Niels Mestre (guitar) at MIA Festival

 

DENMARK

July, Aarhus, SHARE ImproFest. An old abattoir converted into a bicycle shop – architect’s studio – concert venue: the surprising Knud’s Kiosk. Six improvisation collectives crossed paths there for three full days of music: FRIM from Sweden, Impakt from Germany, Zpoluras from Portugal, Le Fondeur de son from France, Kalas and The Community from Denmark. What could happen from this composition ? Something new perhaps? Something that surprises them, moves them.

For three days they played in front of an audience as part of the Jazz Festival of Aarhus. An audience that sometimes heard experimental music for the first time. Andreas told us: “it was the first time I listened to this music and I felt many things”, and Mette confessed “I came a bit without expectations but it was a wonderful discovery”.

The feedback from the audience was valued and strongly encouraged to share the experience of improvised music, to open perspectives and to think together about how to create the conditions to make free improvisation known.

Coming up from the very new collaboration between The Community and Sun Ship, this event is, for sure, the starting point of others future SHARE ImproFest.

You can read the article in Jazzfest.dk

 

DENMARK AGAIN 

August, the MMEI (Musical Meeting of European Improvisors) part 1. On the northeast side of Sjælland is Hundested, there is a fishing port, beaches, marine life, and the Liisberg Art Gallery. There is also Torup, large green fields, endless roads, and a sculptor’s house. An amazing and surprising sculptor’s house called Mejeriet. It was there, in the Liisberg Gallery and in Mejeriet, that fifteen musicians from all over Europe met, played together and for an audience, questioning their practices and training each other, peer-to-peer.

This time, the collective experience was dedicated to reflection, sensitivity and the relationship between the musicians. The artists experimented with ways of learning together and being alternately leader and learner. This, with the aim of observing new forms of individual and collective creation.

The ensembles then performed with audiences, integrating the consideration of a larger environment, that of an audience, into their collective practice.

Watch a short teaser here

 

CZECH REPUBLIC

September 2021, SHARE were invited to Prague in the framework of the Franco-Czech Festival Sněz tu žábu. The Austrian dancer Elena Waclawiczek, the Danish double bassist Jonathan Aardestrup, the French flutist and clarinettist Florent Dupuit, the French  drummer Julien Catherine and the French double bassist Yoram Rosilio, all involved in SHARE, offered to musicians and dancers from Prague to meet around jam sessions and to perform with an audience.

In the old Prague, the 20 Czech musicians and dancers and the 5 members of SHARE explored different ways of playing together, mixing disciplines and proposals, between large ensembles and intimate duets.

Improvised music in Prague has a growing network, independent labels such as Ma Records, underground small venues such as GRID where they played over these three days. Huge possibilities for live improvisation, strong community in the DIY music sphere.

Elena Waclawiczek (dance), Luan Gonçalves (bass). GRID

 

Slow and steady with the race, step by step new collectives are getting involved in SHARE; seems that the setting of the SHARE’s Artistic Meetings – this series of micro-festivals that will take place for two years throughout the continent and in both unusual and more conventional locations – have aroused some interest in the SHARE’s intention to experiment. We hope that soon each of these collectives, as well as volunteers, contributors, music lovers, dancers, performers, will be able to organise tours and gathering on improvising scenes all over Europe, with ease and flexibility and thanks to the connections they will get through SHARE.