AUDIOPOLLINATION CONCERT 4
FEATURING JESSICA HOUGHTON (Movement) & ROB CLUTTON (Bass)
(livestream | run time 60 minutes)
FEBRUARY 11, 2021 @ 8PM ET
CURATED BY MICHAEL LYNN
* Co-presented by Arraymusic as part of our 2021|22 Array Resident Artists Incubator/ARAI program
Audiopollination is a monthly free improvisation series in association with Arraymusic featuring a smorgasbord of spontaneous/improvised/instantly composed music. The series has been running since December 2012 focusing on allowing a safe-space for artists to experiment and further their practice through improvisations in duos or trios. Pre-Covid the series has been self-curated where artists sign up themselves to play–often with artists they had not performed with in an attempt to democratize the curation process. This season the series is focusing on presenting extended sets by improvisational artists across a variety of improvisational sensibilities in duets or trios.
Jessica Houghton is a Dance Movement Psychotherapist, educator, and dance artist living and working in Toronto. She completed her Masters in Dance Movement Psychotherapy in the UK, where she researched the benefits of DMP for survivors of sexual trauma. Before becoming a therapist, Jessica graduated from York University’s BFA Honours Dance program, with a focus on performance and choreography.
Jessica has been dancing for over 25 years, and has been a part of the Toronto improvisation community since 2010, when she began performing at coexisDance and in works by Colin Anthony. Her interest in improvisation deepened when she co-founded Lîla Ensemble, a group of contemporary dancers and musicians who create and defy meaning at the intersection of music and movement. With Lîla, Jessica performed across Europe and Canada, further developing improvisational structures to try and find a common language between music and movement, meaningfully creating sound from movement and movement from sound.
Alongside these explorations, Jessica has studied, performed, and taught contact improvisation, a dance form inspired by weight sharing and physical touch, and learned from mentors such as Colin Anthony, Dawne Carleton, Holly Small, Julia Sasso, and Donna Krasnow. Her passion for exploring improvisation has influenced her work as a therapist, just as her work in the therapeutic applications of dance has offered new depth and meaning in her explorations as an artist.
“My initial interest in a lot of the music I have been influenced by came through hearing Dave Holland on a bluegrass record. As a teenager I was a guitar player, fascinated by acoustic velocity. When I heard Dave Holland’s sound (this happened in 1983), my musical imagination became more engaged with the element of timbre: it felt like I was listening to a majestic tree singing. I started trying to have that experience with the double bass at high school, and I subsequently bought every album I could find with Holland on bass and listened to jazz, free improvisation, and the ‘creative improvised music’ that falls in between, combining composition and improvisation, and a mixture of stylistic approaches. Later on (1997 onwards) I was influenced by Martin Arnold and other fellow-experiencers in the Rat-drifting scene in Toronto, becoming intrigued by an experimental approach to music that (for me) prioritizes listening and awareness (though I’m still interested in human expression as a … thing…). As a creator who enjoys collaborating with artists across disciplines, I am interested in agency, presence, and connection.” — Rob Clutton
“Even though music has accompanied dance for longer than recorded history, I am still mystified and fascinated by the relationship between these art forms. For me there is a huge challenge of being present and listening while watching/accompanying dance. (Wait! Am I accompanying dance? or is the dance happening at the same time as the music.) How does music have its own integrity at the same time as being in relationship to dance? This matter of music and dance improvisation is of central interest to me in my artistic practice right now.” — Rob Clutton
Rob Clutton is a Toronto-based composer/performer. In 1991 Rob completed a degree in classical double bass performance at the University of Toronto, where he studied with Tom Monohan. Other important teachers have included Jim Blackley, Dave Holland, and Joel Quarrington. In 2003 Rob spent time in Chicago, studying creative composition with Ken Vandermark, and in 2008 earned a Master of Arts in music composition from York University under the supervision of David Mott. A Chalmers Fellowship in 2018 provided time in Berlin, New York City, and Toronto, exploring the intersection of composition and improvisation. Rob composes for solo bass and small ensembles including The Cluttertones, duo with Tony Malaby, Rob Clutton Trio, and Sweet Session (duo with Randi Helmers), and enjoys collaborations with musicians, dancers, theatre and performance artists. Recordings of Clutton’s compositions have been released on labels including Rat-drifting, Healing Power, Snailbongbong, and All-Set! Editions; these can be found on bandcamp.com. As part of a creative music community, Rob has also played on numerous recordings as a side-person, and toured throughout Canada as well as to the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and Japan. In 2009 Rob took part in a half-day butoh dance workshop led by Aimee Dawne Robinson, who graciously invited non-dancers to participate in this mind-expanding work. In 2012 Rob signed up for Dawne Carleton’s 10-part solo dancing class. These instructive workshops have enhanced his appreciation for, interest in, and connection to dance, and inform his ongoing approach to playing music with dancers. Some very recent collaborations with dancers include composing and performing music for Gitanjali Kolanad’s multi-sensory dance piece Satyavati, featuring Brandy Leary, as well as part 2 of Leary’s work-in-progress, Simplicity. In 2019 Rob performed with Dawne Carleton at Arrayspace as part of the Women From Space festival, and he is thrilled about this creative meeting with Jessica Houghton at this treasured venue in 2022.