James Rushford (AU, 1985)
Residency period: February – April 2020 and February – March 2022
At La Becque I undertook the two projects outlined in my application: Go Waves Between, an electro-acoustic work about acoustic shadows and written research on musical shadow. Due to the unforeseen COVID-19 crisis, I unfortunately had to cut my residency short approximately halfway through, which meant both projects were only partially completed. I will here outline the components which were completed, and my future plans for these projects.
Go Waves Between changed slightly in its outcome from radiophonic work to a concert piece, but had the original three projected phases: research into acoustic shadow in natural/urban environments, a score for Ensemble Vortex and recording/collating of text and electronics. The first two phases of this project were drafted (please see score and draft electronics attached), but the recording and presentation phases have not yet been undertaken. I am currently in discussion with Vortex about rescheduling this to later in the year, at which point the electronics and text components can be completed.
My written research was going to be the focus of the second half of my residency, so only one chapter was drafted during my time at La Becque. I am currently completing this research in Australia.
Additionally, the electronics for Go Waves Between was extrapolated to become a solo album, most of which was drafted at La Becque, and is currently being completed in Australia.
The second phase of my residency at La Becque involved the creation of a new solo album for organ, piano, electronics and processed voice. It was realised at the residency studio, utilising La Becque’s piano and electronics workstation, and at the Tour-de-Peilz church organ.
The album centred around the image of a ‘hesitation waltz’ (traditionally a 19th century waltz consisting of a pause and glide). This image was gesturally explored in composition and performance as a relishing/suspending of moments, and the waltz structure was echoed in the album’s formations of trio instrumentation (organ/voice/electronics and piano/voice/electronics). The voice component of the album was realized in collaboration with the Berlin curatorial collective Anorak (Johanna Markert and Lukas Ludwig), considering hesitation as both a social and bodily act of resistance.
The vocal delivery of text undertook various hesitation processes through codified translation and rhythmic interactions with the other instruments. A draft of the album was presented at La Becque Open Studios, and was completed shortly after the residency duration. — James Rushford
James Rushford is a composer and performer whose work is inspired by a familiarity with musique concrète, and improvised and avant-garde music. As a composer he has been commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Neon Ensemble in Oslo, among others. As a performer, he has performed at the STEIM Institute in Amsterdam, Issue Project Room in New York and Instants Chavirés in Paris, and has collaborated with sound artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, Graham Lambkin and Tashi Wada.