Photo by Phoebe Bognár
We Stay Apart Because We Love Each Other. Love is Stronger than Greed.
London Improvisers Orchestra, ‘conducted’ by Caroline Kraabel
For over 21 years the London Improvisers Orchestra has been rehearsing and performing large-group free and conducted improvisations on the first Sunday of each month, working on a frayed shoestring and the goodwill of its illustrious improvising musicians and faithful old and new audiences. For the first time since 1998, the first Sunday of April this year will not see an LIO concert.
Because we and you are in isolation, together. This piece (WSABWLEO.LISTG.) has been devised, collected and collated by Caroline Kraabel from solicited 20-second (recommended handwash length) recordings by musicians from the London Improvisers Orchestra. Most of the segments are necessarily solos, but musicians who are in isolation together have also provided duos and (in one case) a trio. Where musicians have provided segments of a length other than 20 seconds, I have left them as sent, for a luxurious and varied handwashing experience. The pieces are joined together more or less in the order in which they were received, from 18 March-5 April of the pandemic year 2020.
Warmest thanks to all the musicians and listeners, and all LIO colleagues past and present, well and ill, living and dead.
We miss you very much and think of you with respect and love.
Credits and details about the worldwide LIO musicians who participated, with links allowing you to explore their work:
1: LIOQ by John Edwards (double bass) and Caroline Kraabel (alto sax) London UK.
2: March 22, by Steve Beresford (electronics) London UK
Here is my piece for your project.
It was played on a toy circuit-bent by Tasos Stamou. He gave it to me as a birthday present.
How’s it going?
3: Adrian Northover (soprano sax) London UK
4: Adam Bohman (words and voice) London UK
5: Isolation, by Dave Jago (trombone) Southend UK
Here’s my contribution. Are you getting many in? Cheers, Dave Jago
6: Marcello Magliocchi (percussion) Bari, Italy
7: 20 Seconds for the LIO, by Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar) Baltimore, USA
I hope that you and your families are doing OK during this pandemic. I’m doing alright. My husband and I are both laying low – staying at home and only going out to get food, etc. once a week. A lot of free time on my hands since all my gigs are cancelled. So, doing the 20 second musical hand wash seems like a wonderful thing to do. Attached is my humble contribution.
Best always, and I miss playing with you, Susan
8: John Butcher (tenor sax) London UK
here you go
9: Short Home Improv, by Martin Vishnick (guitar) London UK
Quarantine piece – short piece!
10: Melodica Quarantine Solo, by Douglas Benford (melodica) London UK
I attach my quarantine piece, 20 seconds long…look fwd to hearing the whole project.
Best wishes to you and all and take care!
11: Knut Aufermann (electronics) Ürzig Germany
Thanks a lot for this invitation. Attached are two 20-second snippets from Sarah and myself. We recorded them at home last Thursday while sound-checking for a live radio broadcast, with our friend Tetsuo Kogawa in Tokio, that went out on radio stations in France, UK and US. I’ve included a picture of the setup.
Hope you are keeping well, all the best, Knut
12: Sarah Washington (electronics) Ürzig Germany
13: Kitchen Music with my Dog Mali, by Jacques and Mali Foschia (voices) Brussels Belgium
Ce fût un plaisir… n’oublies pas de créditer ma chienne Mali;)
Portez vous bien, keep safe!
14: Microsolo, by Chris Hill (clarinet) London UK
Hi Caroline, minisolo as requested. Great idea and thanks
15: Y se quedarán los pájaros cantando, by Daniel Cano Amaro (trumpet) London UK
Hope you’re well.
Please find attached the short solo piece for the LIO. The title comes from a poem by Juan Ramón Jiménez entitled ‘Y se quedarán los pájaros cantando’. It could be translated as ‘And the birds will stay singing’.
Take care, Daniel Cano Amaro
16: Coronavirus, by Dave Fowler (percussion), London UK
Looking forward to being with the orchestra for real, but in the meantime, thanks & hope you’re all keeping well. We have been in quarantine for nearly 2 weeks. I don’t know how I ever had time to go to work!
17: Sebastian Sterkowicz (acoustic guitar and rubber band) London UK
Hope you are well, and coping through this strange time okay!
Please find my solo piece attached to this email; for a change I am playing here on acoustic guitar with rubber band preparation.
Looking forward to hearing the music:)
18: I.Kallin, by Ivor Kallin (voice, harmonium), London UK
I’ve attached my 20 seconds of virtuosic wizardry, feat. Indian harmonium and voice, and I callin’ it I.Kallin
Take care, be well and see you at the other end of this nightmare.
19: John Edwards (double bass) London UK
Better in mono x
20: April, by Sue Lynch (tenor sax) London UK
Hope it’s all going well over yonder. Our residents did an 8pm handclap for the NHS staff tonight; even if nurses didn’t hear, it was a nice morale booster to see all our neighbours again, everyone is hiding away!
Thanks for suggesting this, Sue xx
21: Olivia Moore (violin) London UK
Here is my 20 second violin contribution for the April Quarantine piece.
Many Thanks, Olivia Moore
22: Under the Nails, by Sylvia Hallett (violin) London UK
Special thanks to Sylvia Hallett for suggesting that the segments should be 20 seconds, the recommended duration for hand-washing, rather than 10 seconds as initially proposed! CK
23: Quarantine Piece, by Stephan Barrett (clarinet) London UK
Quarantine 20 second recording (home clarinet practice attempt!) Looking forward to hearing the combined LIO piece! SB
Postcards from the Volcano: https://www.facebook.com/postcardsfromthevolcano/
Littoral Transmissions: https://soundcloud.com/littoraltransmissions
Georges Kaplan Presents…: https://georgeskaplanpresents.bandcamp.com/
24: Laura Cioffi (alto flute) Glasgow, Scotland UK
Here’s my 20 seconds’ worth!
Hoping that you are keeping well during these times.
Best wishes, Laura
25: Ten Seconds of Steel, by Mike Cooper (lap steel guitar) Rome, Italy
26: Pei Ann Yeoh (violin) Malaysia
Good to hear from you and hope you’re managing well under the circumstances. Thanks for organising a piece in these times. I’d like to participate in April’s performance – I’ve recorded something ‘short’ but it’s not 20 secs long – it’s surprisingly difficult to be concise! Something to work on I suppose. Please feel free to edit as you wish.
Best wishes from Malaysia! We’re on Day 13 (as of 30th March 2020) of Movement Control Order here – another 15 days to go!
27: Idle, by Martin Clarke (alto sax) London UK
Hi guys, here’s my contribution to the lockdown release!
best wishes and I hope you’re well.
28: Martin Hackett (electronics) Oxford, UK
29: Handwash, by Robert Jarvis (trombone) Faversham, UK
Hi, Please find attached my ‘handwash’.
With thanks, Robert Jarvis
30: Jerry Wigens (mandolin) London UK
31: Pascal Marzan (10-string micro-tonal guitar, timer) London UK
32: Being Able to Tell if it was Good Would Make it Valid in Some Way, by Staircase Trio: Susanna Ferrar (violin, voice), Jerry Wigens (mandolin), Pascal Marzan (10-string micro-tonal guitar), recorded on their joint staircase in Stoke Newington, London.
33: Susanna Ferrar (violin, timer) London UK
34: Erzbergerstraße 31 March 2020, by Phoebe Bognár (flute, voice, plus birds, street and clock) Frankfurt, Germany
It’s a confusing time, quite honestly… I was supposed to be here for some auditions but as it turns out they are now cancelled! Making the most of things though… catching up on lots of tasks that were piling up.
And this was a lot of fun to do! This is the sounds of my neighbourhood of Obertshausen. There’s a beautiful clocktower here that I love the harmonic partials of. I usually go for walks or stick my head out the window around the hour. I wanted to do a little vocal diary entry into my flute and play on those harmonics, so here it is – with love to the LIO community!
35: Andrew Ciccone (electronics, percussion, objects), London UK
Hi! Here’s a 20-second piece at the 11th hour. It’s a sound collage of me playing otamatone, flexitone, a tape machine, a creaky hinge and some steel and concrete items.
Hope you’re well! Cheers,
36: Twenty Seconds on Flugelhorn, by Charlotte Keeffe (flugelhorn, voice) London UK
Hi everyone, just a quick email sending my love to you all at this surreal time.
I’m looking forward to hearing the results of this lovely idea for April’s Concert/track! Let’s keep keeping in touch; shall we do another track for May’s Concert?
37: Gero Kempf (double bass) Oxford UK
So, just did my 20sec. It was inspired by Adrian´s conduction, “Hive”, signalling that I should play time. Quite a memorable event in the context of my improvisational practice here in the UK! So, that resonates even until today. In these 20sec, I’m adding in bringing my left hand fingernails suddenly closer to the lowest string played. The one reflecting time.
38: Handwashsong, by Charlotte Hug (voice, running water) Zurich Switzerland
I hope you and your families are healthy and well! We are fine. I am grateful for this.
It inspired me a lot to use these micro-timeframes of a handwash to connect with the LIO and all these wonderful musicians. I miss you! All my Love and be well!
39: LIOisolation, by Crystabel Riley (percussion) London UK
40: Emily Shapiro (clarinet) London UK
41: Emil Karlssen (percussion) Leeds UK
Wonderful initiative with the LIO quarantine piece – here’s my submission. Hope you’re keeping safe. Take care, see you when all this is over.
best wishes, Emil Karlssen
42: Sutherland’s New Law, by Rowland Sutherland (flute) London UK
43: LIO Handwash, by Cath Roberts (percussion) and Tom Ward (flutes)
Looking forward to hearing the finished piece. Sending healthy vibes, Cath
Thanks for asking us – yes, Cath & I are isolating together. Here’s a short duet we just recorded for you! Tom
44: Self-isolation, by Neil Metcalfe (flute) London UK
For technical reasons, this was recorded in person by Caroline Kraabel in an isolation-appropriate manner. Travel was by bicycle. Neil unlocked the front door of the flat-block from upstairs, then Caroline placed the recorder on the bottom step and retreated back to the other side of the door. Neil played his solo segment and went back upstairs, so Caroline could come back in and collect the recording.
45: 20 Seconds for LIO, by Charlie Watkins (balloon?) London, UK
hi, here is my 20 second piece. thanks so much for doing this!
46: It’s in the Air, by Sue Lynch (tenor sax) and Adrian Northover (soprano sax) London UK
47: Mark Sanders (percussion) Birmingham UK
48: Simon Petermann (trombone) Bern, Switzerland
You might not remember me, as I played only once with the LIO and it was last November already. I am from Berne, Switzerland and I play with Cath Roberts and Dee Byrne in the band MoonMot, that’s also how I came to play with the LIO. I actually planned to come and play with you that April weekend, but now I’ll have to postpone it for a while…
49: Jackie Walduck (vibes and breath) London UK
50: Tracy Lisk (percussion) Philadelphia USA
51: Trevor Taylor (percussion) UK
52: Male Basic No. 1, by Phil Minton (whistling) London UK
53: Dee Byrne (alto sax, pedals) London UK
I was using my pedals to create an underlying texture – distorting and looping the sound of my keys opening/closing and blowing into the sax without a mouthpiece. X
54: David Ryan (clarinet) Northern Italy
55: Ed Lucas and Antony (percussion, noises) London UK
I hope you are doing well. Thanks for setting up the isolation piece on Bandcamp.
Here is my recording – it’s a duet with the other musician in my household (plus domestic machine and the open window). He’s not a LIO member because he’s only 2 months old!
all the best, Ed
56: Sounds to Wash Hands by: 20 Seconds of Something, by Jason Yarde (alto sax) Hastings UK
Good morning to you and yours!
I do hope you’re all fine and dandy this sunny weekend. Apologies for sending these so late! I actually did these as soon as I got the email, just very quickly on my phone… Too busy! I look forward to hearing everything,
All the Beats
57: Julie Kjaer (flute) and Paulo Duarte (guitar) Copenhagen, Denmark
I hope you are all doing well in spite of this whole crazy world situation! I’ve attached a 20 sec clip with Paulo and me playing (guitar + flute) I know the deadline was yesterday, and possibly it’s too late for you to receive this. No worries if you can’t use it because of that!
I also just wanted to say that I think it’s great you’re doing this!!
Here we are doing ok. Loosing work, as for many others, is a bit of a challenge.
I hope I’ll see you both in not too far a future!
Lots of love
58: Honja (Alone), by Hyelim Kim (taegum) London UK
How are you? I hope you are doing reasonably well, considering the uncertain times we’re in. It is a shame that we won’t be performing in April. But I would like to join the collage piece that you suggested. Please find the audio file attached. Its title is Honja, which means ‘alone’ in Korea.
Thanks again. Hope to see you soon.
59: Breath Clock, by Caroline Kraabel (alto sax) and clock (ticking) London UK
The first few seconds of a slightly longer piece that’s available here: https://carolinekraabel.bandcamp.com/track/breath-clock-4-april-2020