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Jazz North East Presents

THE SOUND OF SCIENCE

Thursday 17 - Sunday 20 March 2022. Doors 6.30pm.

Free but ticketed.

To celebrate British Science Week 2022 music promoters Jazz North East are proud to present ‘The Sound of Science’.

 

With additional support from Newcastle University’s Faculty of Science and Gosforth Civic Theatre, audiences are welcomed to experience a series of concerts and discussions drawing connections between science and music.

 

Programmed events will specifically explore the interplay of chemistry, physics, ecology and biology, and the ways in which these disciplines have been employed by, and communicated through, composers and musicians. We will hear from 28 musicians, artists and scientists across the four day event.

Composers and Performers

Rebecca Nash ‘Redefining Element 78’ Quintet

Graeme Wilson and Faye MacCalman

Lauren Kinsella ‘Radicle’ Trio

Han-earl Park

Johnny Hunter ‘Pale Blue Dot’ Sextet

David de la Haye

Mark Haanstra and One Van Geel ‘Shapes of Time’ with Udo Prinsen

 

Guest Panelists and Presentations

Charlie Wilkinson (Soapbox Science)

Dr Lee Higham (Newcastle University Faculty of Science)

Dr Graeme Wilson (Visiting Fellow University of Edinburgh)

Goda Stasytyte (Newcastle University School of Natural and Environmental Sciences)

Giovanna Barrionuevo Martins (Newcastle University School of Natural and Environmental Sciences)

Special Guest Compere

Dr Corey Mwamba

Presenter of BBC Radio 3’s ‘Freeness’ Corey Mwamba will act as the project compere and chair for workshop discussion.

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Thursday 17th March, Doors 6.30pm

7.00pm - Soapbox Science: Presentation by Charlie Wilkinson

To open our science weekend we will be hearing from Charlie Wilkinson who will be presenting the work of Soapbox Science. Soapbox Science a novel public outreach platform for promoting women and non-binary scientists and the science they do, transforming public areas into an arena for public learning and scientific debate.

7.45pm: Panel Discussion - Rebecca Nash / Dr Lee HighamGiovanna / Barrionuevo Martins / Corey Mwamba

8.30pm - Rebecca Nash Quintet - Redefining Element 78

Rebecca Nash (Piano and Keyboards) - Dee Byrne (Saxophone) - Nick Malcolm (Trumpet) - Paul Michael (Bass) - Matt Fisher (Drums)

Drawing inspiration from chemistry, Bristol artist Rebecca Nash will be performing and discussing her series of music entitled ‘Redefining Element 78’. Originally commissioned for the Bristol Jazz Festival 2019 the material has rarely been performed since.

Redefining Element 78 presents a compositional voice of increasing clarity and singular warmth, luscious, dense harmonies and wide atmospheric soundscapes. The collection of pieces is further inspired by two intriguing extra musical influences; the chemical elements contained within the Platinum metal family and legendary New York alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher.

The music's excitement comes from a creative tension between detailed composed sections and large swathes of free improvisation. The deep sense of trust and connection between the musicians, set against the ethereal other-worldly compositional textures leads to spontaneous, daring, and unpredictable music making. “At the vanguard of innovative and compelling new music” - Downbeat Magazine

 

Friday 18 March, doors 6.30pm.

7.00pm: Lauren Kinsella Trio - Radicle (a plant’s first root)

Lauren Kinsella (Vocals) - Tom Challenger (Saxophone)- Mark Sanders (Drums)

Irish but now based in London, Lauren Kinsella first premiered the composition ‘Radicle’ (a plant’s first root) at the London Jazz Festival in 2018. Her work regularly explores themes of conservation and the complexity of nature through song writing, group interplay, improvisation and original composition. For science week she will bring her innovative new trio to Newcastle to discuss and perform her brave and transformative suite about the union and ecological necessity of trees.

8.00pm: Panel Discussion - Graeme Wilson / Faye MacCalman / Corey Mwamba

8.20pm: Graeme Wilson and Faye MacCalman - Predictions and Modelling of Spontaneous Group Behaviours

Graeme Wilson (Saxophone) - Faye MacCalman (Saxophone and Clarinet)

Alongside his PhD in Psychology from the University of Glasgow, Dr Graeme Wilson is a founding member of Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. With research interests in jazz and improvised music, identities and discourse, he joined the Edinburgh School of Music in 2014 to develop research on group improvisation across the arts and to implement the Scottish Music and Health Network. Graeme will visit the science festival to explore improvisation in music and its relation to the patterns we perceive in the natural world, such as movement of groups of animals such as starlings, or the accretion of marine life on rocks or vessels. Graeme will be making comparisons of musical, ecological and biological processes highlighting practical applications in other fields: for instance, the prediction or modelling of spontaneous group behaviours, or the development of new approaches to group music-making.

9.00pm: Panel Discussion - Lauren Kinsella / Graeme Wilson / Faye MacCalman / Corey Mwamba / Dr Lee Higham / Goda Stasytyte

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Saturday 19th March, Doors 6.30pm

7.00pm: Han-earl Park - cyborgs, bodies, chaos, simulation and improvisation

Han-ear Park (Guitar)

Han-earl Park will visit Newcastle to perform solo, and discuss his ongoing interest in chaotic systems, computation, and the collision of physiology and physics in his music, from guitar technique to the construction of musical automata.

7.40pm: Panel Discussion - Han-earl Park / Corey Mwamba / Graeme Wilson

8.15pm: Panel Discussion - Johnny Hunter / Corey Mwamba / Graeme Wilson

8.40pm: Johnny Hunter - Pale Blue Dot

Johnny Hunter (Drums) - Mark Hanslip (Saxophone) - Seth Bennett (Bass) - Gemma Bass (Violin) - Aby Vulliamy (Viola) - Michael Bardon (Cello)

From Manchester, percussionist and astrophysics graduate Johnny Hunter has composed a suite of music inspired by the photograph ‘Pale Blue Dot’ taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. The photograph depicts the Earth seen from a distance of 6 billion kilometers, appearing less than 1 pixel in size. Written for string quartet, a horn and drums, Pale Blue Dot is written in four movements, each observing our world from different perspectives, taking their titles from Carl Sagan’s beautifully memorable commentary.

Pale Blue Dot begins with ‘Everyone You Love’, showing what is worth remembering and holding on to amidst the seemingly endless barrage of upset and negativity. ‘Endless Cruelties’ discusses the many atrocities committed on this pin-prick of pale blue, occurring with an almost predictable regularity. The needless grabs for power made by the ‘Momentary Masters of a Fraction of a Dot’, those who only have their own interests and careers at heart, that send our civilised society into chaos and hatred so that they may enjoy the briefest of spells at “the top”.

‘Save Us From Ourselves’ is perhaps more self-explanatory; it is both a plea to everyone to look out for each other and for our planet, but also has a hopeful undertone with Hunter's belief in the essential goodness of the individual, with problems only arising when communities are divided by the lies and scaremongering of a few. In these four movements, the Pale Blue Dot seeks to provide the listener with the perspective

Sunday 20th March, Doors 6.30pm

7.00pm: David de la Haye - With Ears Underwater; Presentation and Performance by David de la Haye

David de la Haye (Underwater Recordings) - Adam Stapleford (Drums) - Graeme Wilson (Saxophone) - Mark Carroll (Cello) - Video directed by Euan Preston

Ahead of his site-specific installation scheduled to take place 22nd March 2022 at Roker on World Water Day, David de la Haye visits the science festival to make a short AV presentation and performance of his recent work.

Ecoacoustics is the study of sounds in the environment. Sunderland’s underwater soundscapes are the springboard for ‘With Ears Underwater'. Guided bygraphic scores, derived from the field recording spectrograms themselves, the trio used collective and solo improvisation to evoke interspecies dialogue. For this work, their instrumental recordings flow alongside underwater field recordings, illustrating the interconnectedness of our acoustic landscape.

7.45pm: Panel Discussion - Mark Haanstra / Oene Van Geel / Udo Prinsen / Corey Mwamba

8.30pm: Mark Haanstra / Oene Van Geel - Shapes of Time

Udo Prinsen (Visuals) - Mark Haanstra (Bass Guitar and Contrabass) - Oene Van Geel (Viola) - Graeme Stephen (Guitar)

With support from Dutch Performing Arts, Mark Haanstra and Oene Van Geel will visit the science festival alongside visual artist Udo Prinsen, to work in collaboration with Scottish guitarist Graeme Stephen. Udo Prinsen will discuss his long exposure photographic images which map time through movements of the sun. Mark, Oene and Graeme will perform their resulting musical compositions. Shapes of Time is an attempt to aurally translate a search for suspension and focus in a world ledby fragmentation and urgency.

During a polar expedition, visual artist Udo Prinsen installed various pinhole cameras; the light of several months is represented in one photo. The movements of the sun along the horizon are a ‘coagulated’ map of time. The tranquil and contrasting landscapes in the photos served as inspiration for the music.

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