Gamble on a walnut! Take a punt on a chestnut! Risk it all on an acorn! A pop-up casino with a difference.
Supported by a grant from the Hinrichsen Foundation, for Risk Related the composer Helen Papaioannou continued her ongoing exploration of the social interactions between musicians as a basis for composition.
The relationships between musicians are commonly overlooked or regarded as secondary to other aspects of music. For Papaioannou, however, they often form the building blocks from which works might evolve. Drawing on conversations with academics Dr Ksenia Chmutina and Monia del Pinto from the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, and Professor Paul Thomas and Dr Paul Kelly from the Department of Chemistry, Papaioannou developed a new series of game-based musical activities which introduced elements of risk into the relationships between performers. In these, musicians’ interactions were driven by patterns and systems of communication that explored different power balances or degrees of stability within the collective. In these precarious scenarios, the risks of disruption or calamity within the group also gave way to the emergence of new musical and social relations.
Video shot by Anna-Rose Wain and edited by Helen Papaioannou.
Helen Papaioannou is a composer and baritone/alto saxophonist based in Sheffield, UK. She has a fascination with the dynamics of group interaction, and often works with game strategies in her collaborations. Helen’s new solo project, Kar Pouzi, intertwines saxophone and synthesisers in tides of pulses and drones, often exploring small groups of sounds across prolonged durations. Helen’s compositions have been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Workers Union Ensemble, Ensemble neoN, Nieuw Ensemble, Galvanize Ensemble, Cobalt Duo, Michael Speers/Renzo Spiteri and Northern Sinfonia.
Radar is grateful to the Hinrichsen Foundation for their support for this workshop.