Thursday, 5 March 2015

LLEAPP 2015!



It's 2015 and Leicester De Montfort University's Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre are graciously hosting. Big thanks due to John Richards and Simon Emmerson for making it possible.
Taking part are:
  • Owen Green
  • Taku Lippit,
  • Max Wainwright
  • Steve Jones
  • John Richards
  • Amit Patel
  • Jim Frize
  • Sam Topley
  • Audrey Riley
There's a couple of respects in which this LLEAPP differs from the previous four (which is of course a fine and dandy thing). First, I'm the only Edinburgher here as Lauren, Sean and Jules all have other commitments. Second, all the participants apart from me are part of the DMU musical community and quite a few are also involved with JR's Dirty Electronics group, so there's a rich network of pre-existing musical relationships that we're starting off with, which is interesting in its own right.

Festivities kicked off at lunch time on the Wednesday (yesterday), where Taku and I presented at MTI's lunch time research seminar. I tried to give the assembled a sense of the context in which I see LLEAPP existing / continuing, and made the argument that in the current climate, epseically given the political economy of arts research as it stands, LLEAPP might be best cherished as something 'under the radar' that avoids getting caught up in the current trend for outcome fetishism, and rather provides a safe space for live electronics researchers to think about important issues to the disciplines through playing. It was really interesting during the preparation for this talk to re-visit Patrick's comments from 2013, which I think warrant a thoughtful response. 

As with the 2013 LLEAPP, we went straight into preparing for a first-night gig as a way of getting acquainted. It took us a wee while to get ourselves correct in the space (MTI's PACE studio) but we did manage to get some 9-tet playing in and made a tentative sort of plan for breaking up the performance into some shorter set. This was based on a starting assumption (mine) that a brand new 9-tet would be do a convincing long set.

Turns out that was a rubbish assumption: the group played through for a single 50 minute set with some clear movements, great dynamics and lots of skilful listening. That'll learn me.

Tonight's gig will be a very different affair, in Leicester's Phoenix Centre, with less friendly acoustics and the different type of attentiveness that people standing around drinking can give. Our plan at the moment is to present shorter sets of smaller groups. We'll see what actually comes to pass...