Live performance


The majority of my moving image work has been characterised by the live performance in real time of either a whole work, for the older pieces, or its constituent parts with more complex and longer pieces. This live process was central to my fundamental concerns as an artist working with this medium. The rationale is explained elsewhere on this website.

In this section are recordings of live performances of VAMPVideo And Music Performers – for audiences involving one or two people on video and one to four people on electronically processed  musical instruments.

VAMP evolved in the late Seventies from the live performance style developed earlier in the decade between myself and Simon Desorgher coupled with the development in1975/76 of the Videokalos Colour Synthesiser

This allowed us to stage part-structured, part-improvised performances using video in a unique mode at that time – certainly the first travelling video performances in Europe, and possibly anywhere in the world.

The very first performance was at a little venue in the Elephant and Castle area of London called Intergalactic Arts, long since consigned to historical space/time . . . . and unrecorded as my only video recorder was used as a play-in source . . . .

The oldest recording here is from a performance at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London in 1979 as part of their Musica series. Performers were myself and Richard Monkhouse playing video instruments with Simon Desorgher, Lawrence Casserley, Barry Guy and Roger Heaton on musical instruments and electronics. All the performers had live feedback in real time of ones another’s outputs, visual and aural, so could improvise and adjust their performance together.

The second recording is from a “retrospective VAMP performance” associated with an “analogue” video show at Tate Britain in 2006, curated by Chris Meigh-Andrews. We all got out our old analogue equipment from our lofts and put on a projected performance in the Duveen Gallery. This piece just had myself on video and Simon Desorgher on flute and electronics, and is visually based around a simple feedback loop performed and processed through the Videokalos Synthesiser.

The more recent Colourscape performance in 2008 was different, as Gaia II was a music piece composed by Barry Guy and scored for improvised double bass and other instruments. With Barry on double bass himself, I did a live improvised video visual interpretation for the audience present, who were queuing outside and/or moving around the installation and not necessarily seeing the music performers directly.