Zwei Tage Zeit Festival für improvisierte Musik

  wl Petts2  

Filme von Helen Petts

Freitag, 20. Januar 2012
19.15 Uhr

Sea Shanties –
2010. 17’10” PAL video. Stereo. Black and white.
with Roger Turner and Phil Minton

Commissioned by Matt’s Gallery and Anne Bean for the exhibition ”TAPS Improvisations with Paul Burwell” 2010. A tribute to the British percussionist and performance artist who loved the sea, whisky and small sounds.


Samstag, 21. Januar 2012
19.15 Uhr

1. The Cutty Wren – traditional English folk song performed by Phil Minton with piano accompaniment and arrangement by Veryan Weston. 2008. 6 minutes. Black and white. stereo.
A song from the English Peasants' Revolt (1381) which was caused by many grievances, one of which was excessive Poll Tax. The Cutty Wren were the mercenary police whom the peasants fought and occasionally killed. When this happened, the peasants would destroy the evidence as well as stave off hunger and starvation. So the song is about eating policemen.)
2. Two Figures in a Vortex
– Phil Minton (voice) and John Russell (guitar). 2009. 9'40". Black and white. Stereo. Filmed at a live performance at Mopomoso, Russell's regular concert of free improvised music at the Vortex Jazz Club London, with a visual reference to the paintings of Frances Bacon.


Helen Petts is a British artist film-maker who for the last 5 years has concentrated on working within the experimental and free improvised music scene both, in the UK and in mainland Europe. Her work has been screened in various film festivals and she also has a Youtube site - helentonic - devoted to showing this work. She runs Mopomoso free improvisation night in London with guitarist John Russell, which gives her great access to many musicians from all over the world. She says she is interested in filming the music itself and the moment of improvisation rather than just documenting the performance. This can result in extreme close-ups of abstract textures and rhythms. In 2009 she was commissioned by Matt's Gallery, London to make 11 film collaborations with musicians for the exhibition "TAPS - Improvisations with Paul Burwell". Sea Shanties - made with percussionist Roger Turner and voice artist Phil Minton - is one of those films. It is seen here in a longer version. She also makes very solitary, more abstract, films in remote locations exploring rhythms and textures in the natural landscape. Currently she is indulging both passions making a film following the route of artist Kurt Schwitters, who escaped Nazi Germany to live on Hjertoya island near Molde in Norway and then to Ambleside in the British Lake District. This film, entitled “Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing” a term used by Schwitters to describe how he created his work, is a commission for the Cultural Olympiad – the arts festival of the 2012 Olympic Games. This film will feature improvised sounds and images from Turner and Minton as well as Sylvia Hallett and Adam Bohman.


Roger Turner is an internationally acclaimed musician on the free improvisation scene. He frequently performs at music and arts festivals and collaborates with visual artists. He is known for his humour and originality and tendency to perform with found objects.

Phil Minton is one of the world's leading exponents of extended vocal technique. He also runs an established vocal workshop the Feral Choir. He often collaborates with visual artists, most recently Christian Marclay interpreting the visual score The Manga Scrolls.

John Russell (born London, 1954) is an acoustic guitarist who has worked exclusively in the field of free improvisation since the 1970s. He has been active consistently during that time as a promoter of concerts of freely improvised music in London, providing hundreds of playing opportunities for both local and international musicians. Russell has appeared on more than 50 published recordings. He has been described as “…an acoustic guitar loyalist who always manages to combine a classical delicacy with the fire of rock”