CRAM Record No. 4 - November 2013 - Lawrence Upton & Benedict Taylor - Dark Voices


CRAM Record No. 4 - November 2013
Lawrence Upton & Benedict Taylor - Dark Voices

Taylor & Upton met at Goldsmiths when Taylor was studying for a masters and Upton was an AHRC Research Fellow in the Music Dept. Upon viewing Upton’s indicative scores, Taylor expressed an interest in performing them either as solo viola pieces or in an instrumental group. Upton agreed but said he'd like to join in. Both said they were interested to see how the human voice and viola would interact in the performance of the same visual score i.e., a single image or series of images, not a set of instrumental parts. Both wanted to explore the potential for making live work by cooperation and collaboration without resorting to directives that were not consensually determined. 

Both Taylor and Upton claim, at least in the context of their collaborative work, that what is needed is not preparatory rehearsals but collaborative chat, usually over excessive coffee drinking. They may well discuss aspects of the coming performance and or past performance; but the aim is always to try, as far as possible, to experience the score as if for the first time. Thus, the performers of these works start on the instant, which Upton has also called “a small bang”, to find what possibilities the starting out of context creates.


The work included here is taken from two recording sessions, some months apart. The work is often undertaken rapidly and intensively, but rising out of rather relaxed discussions. They aim to complete the whole work, usually no longer than a quarter of an hour, in one take. It is then either kept, with very minimal editing, or abandoned.                                 

This album is available for download here: 

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