dialogues 6 – 10 July 2021 – preparedness

How do we prepare for a live event? At what point does preparation become presentation and how much difference is there between the work you share and the work you did to prepare to show it?

What if we swap preparing with coping? How do we cope with the unexpected? To what extent do we allow for the unintended to be revealed, and at which point does an idea/piece/system break, lose its identity and become something new as you try to cope?

Do you prepare in order to be able to cope, or do you cope in spite of your efforts to prepare? These are questions society has been asking of itself for over 12 months. Some had prepared and planned but didn’t cope, some were not prepared and coped amazingly.

What the last year really brought was an opportunity to adapt, to feel what adaptation was like and to work through those feelings in real-time, in public, on show. This is very musical and for Dialogues, a kind of music at its best. This is what computer musicians, improvisers, performers, listeners and coders have been doing on stage for years, feeling through what it is like to adapt their preparations in real-time.

This attitude to preparation, coping and adapting is being brought to life through the Festival we have put together for you this year. The Reid School of Music’s Ensemble in Residence Plus Minus will present a new work for live electronics where a silent piece rages in the background, picking up shards of their live sound and implanting that into the pre-existing form; each performance is a negotiation where it is impossible to be sure which parts of the invisible piece will be revealed. The ensemble will also perform Matthew Shlomowitz’ Lecture About Bad Music, an extremely well-prepared, musically illustrated essay with the dangers of a live audience and musicians ready to intervene.

Artists and musicians commissioned by University of Huddersfield’s incredible Fluid Corpus Manipulation project will fill much of the festival with their Liminal Spaces programme. Here we will encounter rich pickings of live electronic music fashioned from cutting-edge code that leans on sophisticated audio analysis, tagging and machine learning. How will the musicians prepare for what the computers have to say in response to their input?

Alongside Huddersfield’s lineup of guests, we’re also delighted to welcome composer, performer, improvisor and DJ Mariam Rezaei an unstoppable force for good in the music world having kept a regular flow of gigs going through Zoom over the last 15 months. We also welcome Birmingham University’s Annie Mahtani who will bring a deep listening experience in binaural and surround sound.

All of our concerts will be streamed live via YouTube and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.