Magnetic North Blog
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ROUGH MIX January 2021
Rough Mix is a paid creative lab for early-stage ideas and practice development: a two-week practical opportunity for artists to try out new ideas or new ways of working. It brings together a small core group of practitioners from different disciplines and gives them time to start developing new projects in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. Rough Mix 2021 began on 25 January 2021 and is presented in partnership with the Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling.
The new work created was shared on Friday 5 February 2021 in an online event.
Alan is a writer, director and translator working across theatre, film and opera. Work as writer/director includes an epic adaptation of Alexander Trocchi's cult novel Cain's Book (Untitled Projects/Arches); nuclear proliferation comedy Finished With Engines (Arches/Traverse) plus most recently sci-fi jailbreak musical Cadaver Police In Quest Of Aquatraz Exit (Staatstheater Nürnberg / National Theatre Of Scotland) and slideshow film The Mass Launching Of Jawline Sabbatical (National Theatre Of Scotland/BBC Scotland). As writer, projects include Oh Graveyard, You Can't Hold Me Always (RCS, final-shortlisted Bruntwood Award 2017); Ophelia, a radical rewriting of William Shakespeare's Hamlet in collaboration with performer Adura Onashile and director Stewart Laing (Òran Mór); The Eye (Untitled Projects), a free adaptation of Georges Bataille's Story Of The Eye featuring kinetic sculptures, robotics, silicone prosthetics and live performer; plus All Howl At Once (Aldeburgh Music), a goth song cycle for goth and non-goth children. He recently worked as dramaturg on the feature film project Zgodbe iz kostanjevih gozdov, which picked up twelve awards at the 2019 Festival Of Slovenian Film, and is currently adapting Hamlet for the National Theatre Of Scotland. Alan has made further work with various other organisations including Bayerische Staatsoper, Volksbühne Berlin, HAU Berlin, Glasgow International, GoMA, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Northern Stage, La Nuova Musica and Riot Group (NYC).
I am a drummer, percussionist, composer, bandleader and digital visual artist of over 20+ years professional experience with a particular interest in interdisciplinary and intercultural collaboration. Previous interdisciplinary commissions include a live silent film score for Hippfest with electronic duo Herschel 36, Cottiers Dance Project with Underhand Dance, Le Sirenuse glass percussion project with Carrie Fertig, piece for drums/ computer printers with Damien Marchal (GI Festival), and Edinburgh Jazz Fest “Naturally Inspired” commission. I have also released two critically acclaimed albums of cartoon music, Twisted Toons Vol. 1 & 2. As a freelance musician I have worked with many established artists including film composer Craig Armstrong, David Byrne, Blue Rose Code and Future Pilot AKA.
In 2018 I was selected for Sound and Music’s “New Voices” 18 month composers development programme during which I began to explore new approaches to composing and performing solo electroacoustic and multimedia work directly from the drums, integrating live electronic audio and video triggering, effects processing, and reactive visual elements under the moniker MNDMTH. This led to a collaborative piece with digital artist, Steve Curtis, entitled MNDMTH: Convergence.
Having now reached a point where my approach is pretty fully formed I now feel ready to explore where I can take it in a collaborative context and this is what I would propose to do during Rough Mix.
I have been a performance artist and director for the past 20 years. I combine the diversity of performing arts in my work: physical theatre, circus, dance, puppetry, visuals, music and clowning. I have been directing and mentoring multi art form performances internationally since 2002 as well as devising my own work with Scottish circus-theatre company Delighters.
The Fire Theatre shows I created were performed internationally at Festa Del Fuoco di Stromboli (Italy), Earagail Arts Festival (Ireland), Galway Arts Festival (Ireland), Sziget Festival (Hungary). As a performer I work with Scottish companies such as Jabuti Theatre, Rowanbank and Irish landscape theatre company LUXe. I love devising and I work efficiently solo but my real forte is in collaborations, creating work with others, bouncing off ideas and seeing them manifest, combining various elements and disciplines of our diverse practices.
I curate, organise and mentor artists for Scotland's only ongoing circus cabaret night Cirqulation. The event has been running since early 2018 and after our first four sold out shows is now funded by Creative Scotland and the National Lottery.
I am a performance maker and theatre designer based in Edinburgh with a background in zoology. My performance work includes ‘Eaten’, ‘4D Cinema' and ‘PAINKILLERS’. My performance pieces, rooted in my theatre design background, are highly visual, surreally humorous and thought-provoking. They often explore 2D/3D, liveness/pre-recorded-ness, gender/sexuality, and fairytales/evolution theories.
My theatre design work includes ‘Mincemeat’ (Cardboard Citizens), ‘The Pink Bits’ (Mapping 4D) and ‘Love Song to Lavender Menace’ (James Ley, The Lyceum). I started my theatre career in Japan as a lighting technician/designer for Tadashi Suzuki’s company. Since moving to the UK, I assisted established designers including Stefanos Lazaridis and David Fielding before designing on my own.
I was supposed to develop and finalise two projects last year: Sex Education Xplorers (S.E.X.) - a show for teenagers that embraces diverse gender identities and sexualities from an evolutionary perspective; and ‘What You See When Your Eyes Are Closed / What You Don’t See When Your Eyes Are Open’ - a project about visual perception. They are both postponed. Instead, I worked on a few digital projects including ‘World Jam’ (NTS) and ‘Zoom Dark Mode’ (Tramway TV). Through these projects, I tried to explore what it means to share time and space (when that was exactly what’s not possible).
I am a performer, songmaker and artistic collaborator whose background lies in traditional Scots music. Much of my work is an exploration of how one can articulate oneself as a woman in the world and in Scotland today, whilst recognising the cultural lineage that entails - visual, linguistic and musical. I do this by working with many artists of different mediums.
I create work that sets out to play, provoke, question and culturally engage. Often, when asked, I would call myself a ‘songmaker’ rather than a ‘songwriter’: in my writing I actively aim to reference the material of the traditions I work with, as well as the work of past performers, artists and writers. Two spaces where I feel particularly at home are the worlds of traditional music and contemporary art - having been brought up around the Scottish contemporary art scene and worked on and off within that sector. This combination is fairly unusual and I very much enjoy bringing these two creative expressions together in my own work.
The work I make doesn’t shy away from the ‘big issues’. For instance, In November 2017 I travelled to Malaysia with multi-disciplinary collaborative and hard-hitting show about female sexual empowerment, 'Lord Fox', with Kirsty Logan and Esther Swift. It was a brave and controversial piece of programming on behalf of that festival, in a country with a very conservative culture and government. The show was met with an emotional response and was one of the most rewarding performing experiences in my career so far.
I am a choreographer/dance artist based in Dunblane, near Stirling. I have been working in the professional dance world for 13 years, and creating my own stage work since 2011. I spent seven years as a professional dancer with the prestigious Staatsballet Nürnberg, Germany and have been working as a freelance artist since 2015.
I have created three full length dance works for stage, all premiering at the Tafelhalle in Nürnberg. My works for companies include Greed commissioned for the company of Theater St Gallen, Switzerland. My works for schools includes creating Aftermath for the students of Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome as part of Resid’AND. My work for festivals includes Lost for words at Resolution (The Place) and Shelf Life at Interdans (Belgium). I have also been involved in several artist development programmes such as The Cohan Collective and completed my MA Choreography in 2018. y work has appeared in finals at several choreographic competitions including Copenhagen International Choreographic Competition.
I am the artistic director of Anahat Theatre. I have directed The Arsonists, by Max Frisch (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Hotel Juárez (The University of Edinburgh); I also wrote and directed I Am that Girl at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. During the pandemic I have been attempting to write a couple of plays and was recently selected to participate in Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab. Before the pandemic I was assistant director with Told by an Idiot on the show The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, the R&D of Life is a Dream, directed by Wils Wilson (Lyceum Theatre), and I was also assistant director on Christmas Tales (Lyceum Theatre).
I am a Physical Theatre Practitioner and Director based in Glasgow, Scotland. I regularly perform with Oceanallover, Dudendance, Imaginate, Puppet Animation Scotland and Surge. I have also assistant directed with Scottish Opera, directed ensemble shows, walkabout acts and cabarets. To date my solo work has been shown at Anatomy, Clown Cabaret Scratch Night, On The Verge and Physical Fest, (Liverpool) and Kelburn Garden Party.