Silent Player (for 6 Improvisors and film by Simon Allen) – 2/06/2021


Silent Player

Simon Allen – percussion / images
Chris O’Connor – drums/percussion
Kei GoGwilt – violin
Johnny Chang – violin
Hermione Johnson – organ
Jeff Henderson – baritone saxophone


Silent Player for six improvisors and moving images is an experiment performed by three simultaneous duos. The moving image functions as a silent player, itself comprising a fourth duet between two contrasting films of two places; one made in London 2019 – the other, brief segments of the West Auckland shoreline filmed in 2020. The earlier film shows the real world abstracted by physical filtering of the camera’s eye through broken lenses and mirrors – interior surroundings transformed into fragments of light-play and colour. This film is then used to manipulate more recent exterior footage made in Te Henga – present experience filtering through past time and place.

The music is improvised – authored by invention of the players while acknowledging the film as another player with preconceived ideas. Beneath the surface of the music are conversations with each musician suggesting one musical idea for their duo to solve and use as a place to return to – if desired. Altogether these ideas are neither starting point nor endpoint, but a loose orchestration of a hypothetical moment that may or may not arise.

Simon Allen is an UK composer / percussionist, improvisor and interpreter of experimental music. Recent works Map Fragments [2019] Aerosol (after Cornell) [2019] and Empty Air Thickens [2017] variously incorporate film, projected text and British Sign Language. His multi-media work Resonance At The Still Point Of Change [2012] for instruments, voices, multi-screen projection and lights was commissioned for the Cultural Olympiad. Simon has a long association playing Feldman with pianist John Tilbury and can be heard in recordings with Apartment House, Skogen, Ensemble Grizzana and The Dangerous Kitchen amongst others on labels – Another Timbre, Matchless, ATOPOS, Naim Audio, Sibarecords, Tall Guy Records & EMI. A recent solo album Te Henga Weather is available on bandcamp.


Wednesday 2 June @ Audio Foundation, doors open 8pm
$10 presale tickets available from UTR