Composer-performer spanning live electronics, free improvisation, noise, electroacoustics, and Arabic musics.


Automatic Writing Circle

Automatic Writing Circle is designed to explore the almost biological aspects of primitive music making, based on the notion of music as sonic communication. The techniques of Ecosonic improvisations involve relationships between people, sound, movement and emotion. The performers draw on the intense expressivity that lies at the heart of emotional vocal utterance. The immediacy of the body defines player-instrument relationship and methods of sound production, while minimizing cognitive mediation of culturally acquired musical imperatives.

The Ouija Board – a new form of group musical instrument. Based on the real-time video analysis of the shadows of a group of people, it reframes many of the conventions of traditional tactile instrumental control. It allows the relationship between sound material from loudspeakers and the embodied act of performance to be investigated more deeply. During performance the Ouija board acts as a bridge between acousmatic and traditional instrumental / vocal techniques.

The tactile quality of traditional acoustic instruments is in contrast to this remote, shadowy form of engagement. It is a negative instrument, between two worlds, casting a human shadow on the acousmatic curtain.

Automatic Writing Circle performers are from diverse musical backgrounds, amongst them – historically informed performance, electroacoustic composition, experimental and popular music. They include: Peter Coyte (ouija board) – composer, producing work for installation, performance, theatre, dance, film and TV, writer-performer with spoken word artist Salena Godden as SaltPeter (Fred Label). He has been a regular collaborator with John Paul Zaccarini and Company F.Z Kirsten Edwards (ouija board) is a visual artist gravitating towards sound and collaborative improvisation. Thomas Gardner (cello) composer, has made pieces with choreographer Jeremy James, permanent installations in the UK and Holland with Turner prize artist Martin Creed; as a programmer has worked with MAX since its inception. His interest in the relationship between individuals and groups in live electronics led to his development of the ouija board. He is Senior Lecturer at LCC University of the Arts. Stephen Preston (baroque flute) established a worldwide reputation as a pioneering early music performer, has worked as a conductor, choreographer and director of opera, theatre and television. He developed Ecosonics from his research into birdsong, improvisation and new techniques for the baroque flute, and duetting. Seth Ayyaz (ney / daf) is a composer/performer whose work spans arabic, electroacoustic, live electronics, free improvisation and noise musics. His principle areas of theoretical interest are intercultural sound aesthetics, and neurocognitive aspects of auditory perception. Also, special thanks to Andy Charalambous, Honorary Research Fellow in Physics and Astronomy at University College London, for designing the latest structure of the ouija board and solving many optical and practical problems.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


June 2011
CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice) presents:
Sound Art at the Swiss Church in London

Mark Peter Wright, A Quiet Reverie
The Automatic Writing Circle (Seth Ayyaz, Peter Coyte, Kirsten Edwards, Thomas Gardner, Stephen Preston)
Thomas Gardner, Lipsync

Swiss Church
London, UK

November 2010
Nightingale Theatre
Brighton, UK

September 2009
Sibelius Academy
Helsinki, Finland

March 2009
Schön Later Gasse 9
Vienna, Austria

Curated by Volkmar Klien

in this incarnation AWC were | Seth Ayyaz, persian daf and nay | Thomas Gardner, cello | Stephen Preston, baroque flute | Peter Coyte, “Quija Board”