Text Size

Radnorshire improvisers

The RI was born from an idea of Camilla Cancantata, member of Oxford Improvisers collective, and Charlie Beresford

of the London based quartet Fourth Page. Both knew of other improvisers who work throughout the UK on numerous professional projects. Some of the members had encountered each other in different situations, but had not played together as a full group before.

The group members are: Charlie Beresford, Camilla Cancantata, Olly Blanchflower, and Sonia Hammond.

Radnor Imps community and education projects

Common Ground project, August 2013

The Rimps facilitated a series of workshops with a group of UK and Palestinian young people.

Although some had musical skills not everyone played an instrument and no-one had previous experience of free improvisation.

Despite some complex group dynamics, we successfully put together a powerful group composition that made use of individuals’ particular skills as well as bringing everyone together in a creative project. Audience members were very moved by the piece.

From Knighton, the group and some of the musicians travelled to Oxford, where we joined with some members of the Oxford Improvisers, Northampton, and London.

We hope to develop this with another visiting group next year, and if possible make a preparatory trip to Palestine early in 2015.

School workshops

Rimps have now successfully delivered several school workshops in Knighton and Hay.

We began with Arts Council Funding that enabled us to involve Knighton School children in a festival of music improvisation in November 2012.

We obtained funding from Sheep Music to faciliate a day of music and film at Knighton School in 2013.

The schoolchildren divided into two groups working on an improvised score to the silent film ‘Voyage dans la Lune’ by Geo Melies.

The Knighton School Choir and Eco-club worked with us on the Footloose Water Stories project. Because of the children’s involvement, we had a very large local audience, many of whom had never heard improvised music before and came up afterwards and told us how much they had enjoyed hearing something different.

In Hay, we are currently involved in the Two Towns One World twinning project between Hay and Timbuktu. We already facilitated three workshops last year at Hay Primary school and Gwernyfed High School. We are giving another day workshop at Gwernyfed in March, followed by a concert at the Globe, Hay, on March 14th which will involve some of the students working with us using themes derived from Malian rhythms and modes.

Care Homes and Hospitals

Two members of the Rimps obtained funding from the Co-op to do a programme of improvised music in care homes and hospitals in Wales and England.

This has involved playing music for a variety of elderly people, some with dementia.

The response to our music has been mostly very positive and quite moving for us as performers.

We are keeping notes of our experiences and working on developing particular sounds and kinds of phrases and rhythms that help the listeners to fully engage and respond.

Who the RIMPS core members are:

Camilla Saunders aka Cancantata (piano, voice, trombone) is a composer and improviser, and co-founder of Footloose Arts. She studied folk music in Hungary and Romania, worked with many theatre groups, is an occasional performer with Oxford Improvisers and has collaborated with artists from India, Japan and Iraq. Recordings include solo improvised piano music, “Meeting Point” with Neela Bhagwat (voice and piano), and most recently “Songs for Interesting Times” (2012). Compositions include Spring Peeper, for 100 voice choir, (Brighton Festival, 2007),Trident, a British War Crime (oratorio for SATB), Becoming, a semi-improvised piece written for Choir Brevis, Vilnius, and choral sections for Variation and Adaptation, recently performed at Cardiff National Museum.

Charlie Beresford (acoustic guitar/voice) as well as playing solo he is a founding member of Radnor Improvisers and Fourth Page. Charlie and fellow Rimp Sonia make up the duo Beresford Hammond. His musical life has seen him work with artists spanning most genres such as Alexey Kruglov, Orla Wren, Patrick Dawes, Duke Garwood, M. N Hopwood, June Tabor, and the Ian McMillan Orchestra. He has licensed music to MTV USA both East and West coast, and has worked for likes of Leo Records, Forwind, the BBC, Smooth Operations, Topic Records and Soundtree.

Olly Blanchflower (Double bass) Took up double bass in late 1970’s and played for 10 years on the London Jazz/Improv scene working with the likes of Harry Beckett, Evan Parker, Very Varied (Maggie Nichols, Jim Dvorak), Geoff Warren Quartet and BBC broadcasts and Festival appearances including Praxis (Athens), Actual 84, Debrecen (Hungary), Belgrade. Subsequently worked and recorded 3 albums with singer Melanie Harrold, then played with Alias Ron Kavana ( Irish Roots music), and for a long time with eclectic trio Acoustica ( Paul Kerr & Chris Haigh), which covered all styles. In recent years has joined an improvising trip with Jim Dvorak (tpt) and Harrison Smith (saxes) and guested with the People Band ( Terry Day, Charlie Hart Mike Figgis et al)

Sonia Hammond (cello)is a sensitive and highly versatile musician, equally comfortable with improvisation, world music, and western classical repertoire. She was a scholar at the Birmingham School of Music and subsequently studied at the Royal College of Music. She has played with English String Orchestra, Virtuosi of London, Garden Opera, and Opera Brava, gives recitals and is currently principal cello with the Brecknock Sinfonia.

Sonia has toured and recorded with Barb Jungr (Jazz), Ennui (Rock), and her own band, Babysnakes (World Music) in theatres and clubs ranging from Pizza on the Park to the Shetland Folk Festival.

Since 1988 she has been involved with Camphill Communities and plays for Eurythmy all over Europe and South Africa. Sonia is also the other member of the duo Beresford Hammond.

We are also joined at times by:

Nicholas Benda(oboe, voice) is a freelance modern and baroque oboist and music teacher. He plays regularly with the Apollo Chamber Orchestra in London and the Oxford-based ensemble Charivari Agréable. Locally, he has become part of a new free-improvising project, Radnor Improvisers. As a teacher, he is a practioner of the Kodály approach to musical learning, and last year gained an MA from the International Kodály Academy in Hungary. 

Chris Martin is a classically-trained flautist and skilled improviser. She teaches music to young children, plays with a number of bands and ensembles, and has wide experience of working in a community setting and encouraging participation. She has worked with Footloose on several projects including Musical Migrations and Carbon Chronicles.

 

Contact

email Camilla on camilla(at)littleweed-music.org

email Charlie on brightfield(at)runbox.com