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We grow music!

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Two year research project

Promotor: Kathleen Coessens

This research looks at the aspects of discrepancy and multiplicity as specific generative features of embodied music making, primarily in the context of live experimental improvised music. This follows the idea of music making as an ecology, in which simultaneously real (material, sonic) and imaginary (subjective, embodied) music is grown. The project engages the challenge: how to access, explore, and articulate features of the complex embodied music making process. The body is an “intricately coordinated crowd” and “multiple” but not “fragmented.” Through practice led research the project focuses in particular on the aspect of attention as a practical guide through this ‘crowd’.


Practical exercises—for live improvised music—will be developed. These will be based on listening as a mode of attention and used to investigate how performing bodies grow music and language—characterised by discrepancy and multiplicity. What this sounds and looks like, and what is at stake, will be demonstrated through performed and recorded music, written documentation, and presentations. This musical growth will be approached as the production of a ‘living archive’ of scores, in an expanded sense.

Paul Abbott


Paul Abbott.jpg

Paul Abbott plays with the drum kit, synthetic sounds, performance and writing. He explores music as an ecology: in which the interaction of sounds, signs and the physical body grow real and imaginary music. His work is often concerned with creating practical and fictional structures to facilitate improvisation and experimental musical play.

Supervised by Nikki Moran and Florian Hecker, Paul Abbott recently completed Creative Music Practice PhD research at Edinburgh University, titled “Playing no solo imagination: synthesising the rhythmic emergence of sound and sign through embodied drum kit performance and creative writing.”

Recent and ongoing collaborations include: XT with Seymour Wright; XT+Anne Gillis; F.R.David, very good* with Will Holder; sound design for Keira GreeneRian Treanor Duo; RP Boo Trio with XT; The Creaking Breeze Ensemble with Nathaniel Mackey, Ute Kanngießer, Evie Ward, Seymour Wright and Billy Steiger; yPLO with Micheal Speers and performances with Cara Tolmie.

Paul Abbott has performed internationally at Cafe OTO, Talbot Rice Gallery, Whitstable Biennale, Whitechapel Gallery, Raven Row, Tate Modern, Counterflows, Next Festival, KW Institute Berlin, Serralves Porto, Empty Gallery HK. He has records released by OTORoku, Empty Editions, Pleasures of The Text, and published with Cesura//Acceso and F.R.David. Residencies include Cafe OTO, KW Institute, Empty Gallery.

Recent releases include: solos NsularDuctus; XT Deorlaf XPalina’Tufa; Creaking Breeze Ensemble & Nathaniel Mackey Fugitive Equation; F.R.David very good*; RP Boo Trio 31.12.18. He was one of the co-editor’s of Cesura//Acceso and a Sound and Music “Embedded” resident artist at Cafe OTO 2015-2016.

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