PROJECTS

MUTUAL INSTRUMENTS

“Movement is motion is vibration is sound at another scale. I am interested in this space between gesture and sonic.” Roxanne Nesbitt

I am currently collaborating with Visual Artist/Musician Roxanne Nesbitt on her new series of instruments for musicians and dancers. These ‘mutual instruments for movement and sound’ explore ways of controlling pitch and timbre through movement. They are completely acoustic, employing archaic principles from idiophone instrument design to explore the connections between sound and motion. I am very thrilled to be working with Roxanne’s instruments and have showcased her pitched sticks during recent performances at The Bimhuis in Amsterdam and a solo drum performance at Vancouver’s China Cloud Gallery.

MINE AGENTE

We make music out of making clothes.

We investigate our personal relationships with garments and the potential transformation of clothing-identity.

 

Mine Agente is an installation performance that explores consumption, materialism, identity, value, fast fashion, history and memory, using clothing as the common thread between us. Founded by dance artist/choreographer Kelly McInnes, Berlin-based musical sewing artist Lisa Simpson (Agente Costura) and myself, Mine Agente began in July of 2014 during a month-long residency at The HopBopShop in Vancouver, B.C. I have had the opportunity to perform in Mine Agente at various venues in Vancouver including Emily Carr University, Merge, The HopBopShop, Stretch Vancouver and Gold Saucer Studio with dancers Rianne Svelnis, Sophia Wolfe, Jessica Wilkie, Kaitey Desante, upright bassist/vocalist Roxanne Nesbitt and bassist Colin Cowan.

LIGHT ORCHESTRA

two lamps. one drum. two bodies. one space. two pulses. one pedal. two lights. one dark. two voices. one silence. two movements. one suite. two lit limbs. one drum solo. two doors. one ceiling. two disciplines. one mantle.

BEN and NAOMI

Light Orchestra is the first collaboration between dance artist Naomi Brand and myself. I first became interested in working with Naomi while accompanying her modern dance classes to a room full of soporific teens. This combined with some exciting SkyTrain ride conversations about creative practices that propelled us beyond our initial guises of dance teacher and accompanist to friends and collaborators. The ideas for Light Orchestra stem from an interest in humor, role play, expectations and lightness. The attempt and the risk of making performance. Naomi and I have performed this duo for festivals such as Dance in Vancouver, Interplay and Modulus presented by Music On Main.

ACT

A drummer and dancer walk into a bar…

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We are Ben Brown and Deanna Peters. We are drummer and dancer. We do not accompany each other or switch instruments. We are part abstract dance caller; part dance party drum groove; part anatomical toaster; part open beat surgery. The stage is set with musical expectation; a drum kit, microphone stand, loop pedal. Will we hear some songs from a band or watch multi-disciplinary art?

We use our instruments, mic and drum, to dismantle our disciplines for the audience and share our story. The story is about cutting. We are a duo cutting from the same cloth a common vocabulary based in pulse and locating groove in the body. We are cutting our teeth performing this new vocabulary in small jazz clubs to mostly musicians. We cut to the past for influence; the integration of music and dance in folk tradition, chance principals of Cunningham/Cage and the visceral expression of rhythm in 90’s DJ music.

WE’RE MAKING A BAND

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A research project I’m working on with dance artist Justine A. Chambers that explores the idiomatic movements of musicians. Naturally, we started with drummers. We are exploring the following questions…

How/is the physical approach to the drum kit defined by the gender of the player?

How/does this movement in turn influence the compositional choices of the player?

How do specific manipulations of rhythmic phrases such as shifts of tempo (slow-slower) and repetitive tasks effect the players movements on the instrument?

How/can we transpose the physicality of the drummer into the choreographic ?

SWEETHEART

Somehow I want to have love…..how?

Somehow I take love….how?

and somehow I finally fall in love, I keep myself in the web of love and after…

somehow all is gone and then, no love, no more love and looking again.

Sweetheart is a duo piece directed and performed by dance artist Areli Moran With various drummers. Sweetheart is a piece about the way that love transforms us. A tribute to the most intimate and vulnerable loves of the past. Devouring them with beauty, power, intensity, sensuality and sexuality.

Areli and I began working regularly together during the first year of MAMM. While I began hosting these new improv music and dance sessions, Areli was instrumental in dancing, filming and helping promote this new series. At the same time she invited me to play and perform in a piece she was developing named Sweetheart. Sweetheart would be my first experience performing on stage in a dance production. Areli and I continued to develop the piece and performed together at Teatro del Centro de las Artes y Casa de la Cultura in Monterrey, Mexico as well as the HopBopShop and Interplay festival in Vancouver, B.C.