Please tell us who you are and what you’ve been working on recently.
We are good friends who have been working together for a number of years, in many different iterations. Penny is an actor and artist and violinist; Rose is a composer and performer and cellist. Together in 2015 we founded The Surround, a platform for artists to perform works-in-progress in front of an audience. To date we have hosted 21 events and released five compilation albums. The Surround ethos is: there is no stage (the artists perform where they like), it’s as regular as possible (the platform provides a deadline / opportunity to show new work), it’s nomadic (we have no fixed home, the artists respond to and inhabit different spaces), it’s non- genre specific (it crosses many forms of live performance practice). In December 2018 we were the featured artist of Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone Xmas Special on BBC 6 Music.
Our collaborative duo, which we have been developing since 2015, is Alien Wind. Our ongoing work began as a single improvisation between violin and cello and now spans composition, drawing, performance and video. Our most recent iteration was in 2017 during a week-long residency at The Manorbier Reading Room where we combined music, spoken word and performance, exploring ways that narratives adapt and evolve over time.
What drew you to each other’s practice?
We first played together as musicians in the bands Wap Wap Wow and later Rhosyn. We gradually realised that we had similar yearnings to experiment more, and found a mutual interest in visible process and peeling back the layers. We started improvising, writing scores and making videos, drawings and performances together.
How will you use the 1:1 FUND?
Since we last worked together our individual practices have evolved, and the 1:1 FUND provides the opportunity to reconvene from these developing perspectives. We will develop a daily correspondence practice: brief, contained, routine. This will provide a tight and nurturing structure for the emergent work. We plan to use the fund to develop a collaborative film. Alien Wind has to date been a DIY project (we’ve always utilised the space, time and equipment that we’ve had to hand and worked from there), the funding will allow us the time to be able to focus on this collaboration, to pay ourselves, invest in equipment and broaden the possibilities.
What is the one thing you most hope to gain from undertaking this work?
We are bringing forward some of the questions that arose in previous work and we want time to keep following these threads and take them further. The project will be emergent and process driven, based around our ongoing correspondence. As we now live between Scotland (Rose) and England (Penny), the collaboration will happen remotely and asynchronously. The specifics of our outcome remain speculative, which is crucial to allow for true discoveries to be made in our performances, the development of scores and scripts, sonic elements, emergent characters, costumes and motives.