This film is a collaboration between filmmaker Neil Henderson and visual artist Polly Read. The film documents drawings the audience made during a performance given by the musician and improviser Evan Parker1. Polly Read gave each member of the audience a small booklet and pencil; on each page (8 pages per book) a circle has been drawn. The audience were asked to respond to the music over the course of the performance by drawing in the book.
The idea behind the film is to animate these images bringing them back into conflict with one of the musical pieces performed on the night. The results are a mixture of abstract marks, impressionistic portraits, and observations about other audience members. To what extent can/ do these drawings reflect the music played during the evening?
1Evan Parker is one of the major figures in European free improvisation. Over the course of the last 40 years he has developed a new musical language for the saxophone, particularly the soprano. Parker’s style makes use of a number of techniques one of which being circular breathing. This allows him to play for great stretches of time without pausing for breath, creating long passages of uninterrupted sound. The speed of Parker’s playing creates notes on top of notes, counterpoint on top of counterpoint
Neil Henderson (b.1973 Worcester, UK) studied at the Kent Institute of Art and Design (1995-98) and Slade School of Fine Art, London (1998-2000). His films have been shown at Kettle’s Yard Cambridge; Chicago Filmmakers; Aurora Film Festival, Norwich; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Anthology Film Archive New York. His work has also been written about in Film Art Phenomena by Nicky Hamlyn, (BFI, 2003). He works as a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and currently lives in Whitstable, Kent.
Polly Read (b.1982 Kingston upon Thames, UK) studied at UWE, Bristol (2001-04). She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including: John Moores 23, The Walker Gallery, Liverpool, (2004); Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Institute of the Creative Arts, London; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Spike Island, Bristol; Royal West of England Academy, Bristol; Bloomberg Space, London; Centre culturel Kulturfabrik, Luxembourg; and Brukenthal Museum, Romania. As a curator she has been organising exhibitions and events for over five years, most recently the Whitstable Biennale Satellite Programme LOCAL and Our band could be your life, a lively series of contemporary music events across Kent. She lives and works in London.
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