Here’s what we’ve been up to lately; collaborations, performances, Mel’s workshops and other stuff……
6th – An attempt to be experimental with Jamie and Ben from Koncept2all digital sounds, in Bristol Old Vic foyer for the finale of the Jam festival of improvisation. Upstaged by the intensely brilliant Reggie Watts but never mind, he was great. We eavesdropped and can assure you that thespians have lots of banal conversations too.
19th – Ceremonial singing for the funeral of language itself….
At the M32 promenade performance CATNAP. Hopefully set to play again – it was brilliant – the kind of outlandishly huge project that arises with DIY inspiration, energy and poetic integrity. See collaborative review from Neil the director below….
18th – Festival of Song gig at St Stephen’s Church – great warm reception for our risk-taking in hallowed space, even from the wonderful Canon Tim. Our first try out at Music for Dreams, resplendent in our bedroom attire, which will now wake up and find its slippers.
16th – Bristol Festival of Desperation – singing the subway in the Bear Pit with the Tandemonium, the noisiest bike on the block.
4th – Mel contributed to Street Sounds and Outdoor Music day with Thrive, Take Art, Somerset.
19th – Bristol Cycle Carnival – outriding for the Tandemonium, which wins the prize for the most brilliantly useless bike invented on the day. Well done Imo.
Creative Beatboxing course – adventures in sound mixing beatbox with other vocal improv – some really interesting outcomes. Led by Mel McCree and Vid Warren.
Mel leading Bath Fringe Festival workshop with some non-plussed nice lady singers and some braver children.
Dark Mountain’s UnCivilisation Festival, Llangollen, Wales
Another ‘Voicing Dissent’ workshop led by Mel, creating an instant choir and textual record of the participants of this ‘training camp for the end of the world’. A roaring success, literally.
Closing evening of C-Words Exhibition, curated by Platform, Arnolfini.
A benefit for the Tar Sands campaigners. Using recordings of the inspirational talks by the three First Nation activists who were on tour before Copenhagen, and absent choir members on audio. Rik and Mel performed a short piece, with Martin on technicals.
Find out about the Tar Sands gigaproject and the campaign to stop it. It’s the worlds largest industrial ‘development’ / destruction and the world’s stupidest idea. Remove your money from any bank account, insurance scheme etc that invests this way.
Indigenous Environmental Network – watch ‘The Tar Sands Blow’
Tar Sands Watch – another film here.
November 17th 2009 Voicing Dissent
C-Words Exhibition, curated by Platform with dayschools by Trapese, Arnolfini.
Mel led a workshop followed by a short show-and-tell of our new Tesco’s jingle, plus a sneaky intervention on the gallery tannoy.
Bristol Old Vic Festival of Improvisation
Sharing the main stage with Phil Minton. What a delight.
September 27th 2009
An interactive Big Gold Opening vocal-radio dial for the Colston Hall Opening Celebrations.
Still Voices – Theatre Orchard Festival in North Somerset. Singing the epitaphs of graves. A spooky night with storytellers Michael Loader and Martin Maudsley, many musicians and the ghosts of Puxton church graveyard.
(If you want to see a real pirate’s grave, go to this churchyard and ‘read here thy doome’)
June 2nd 2009
Dialogue 3 @ The Attic Bristol. Dialogue feralistas invite us to sound clash with the cyborg. Tonight it’s IntelSplinters. The sound clash involved the choir being processed live through various audio interfaces and an ensuing live battle between wo-man and the machine. Who won? Perhaps the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. We thought so and dressed as 80’s dada robots for the occasion. We are the future, now. Thanks to Jamie, Keir and Will.
Dialogue 3 gig Flikr pics</a
What’s it like to collaborate with the choir? A view from an artist.
The Bristol Feral Choir are brilliant people to start a collaboration with: I like the way they devise their own work from an almost infinite potential. I like their openness to new ideas and the way they can activate other people’s ideas without being restricted to any one discipline.
I could not believe my luck when I met the Bristol Feral Choir. IDST!’s show CATNAP was about the loss of language at the busiest part of the city, the M32. It followed a trajectory along the motorway route from over-production of language to no-language at all. Mel and the choir knew how to create something for the outdoor space that was perfect. They seamlessly adapted their skills as non-linguists and non-verbalists to transform a derelict urban riverside under the M32. They filled the underbelly of the highway so that it became a place of spectacle and one where words got lost.
People who chanced upon it were spellbound. Happily for me their sound-songs quite literally left me speechless. Their performance helped us achieve our aim of engaging people in a relationship with the sounds of the space and it’s inhabitants. I saw people straining to hear and coming closer, and at others moments looking about them as if consuming the choir’s sounds. They were both a soundtrack to the motorway and created a potent visual symbol of the end of language. People have been asking me all about the choir ever since.
I am hoping to work with them in the future. Their versatility means that I feel I could approach them about any number of shows I am involved in.
Neil Puttick, CATNAP director, IDST, Sedated by a Brick, November 2010