We’re thrilled to be working with experimental classical composer and turntablist Shiva Feshareki on our second Both Sides Now residency, the first to take place in Leeds. Here’s an insight into the mind of Shiva and what artists can expect from the upcoming residency…
What inspires your current work as an artist?
My biggest inspirations come from composers who were at the forefront of the exciting and radical experimentations of the 1960s onwards, and were part of the left-field. These composers were creating new grounds in art such as creating the first forms of music with electricity, such as Eliane Radigue, James Tenney, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, and Daphne Oram. Inspired by their ground-breaking work, I have aimed to incorporate their work in interesting collaborations such as a concert in cave, or manipulating the work of artists through improvisation, or realising lost scores by pioneers.
There was such a massive shift in music-making formed by these composers, such as James Tenney who was essentially the first artist to use computers in music by collaborating with experts in different fields such as experimental psychologists, and in unusual settings such as telecommunication companies like the Nokia Bell Labs: ultimately he developed new modes so commonly used in the present day in such varied ways. This form of game-changing innovation through experimentation is what inspires me most, and how we can create our own positive change in the modern day, with similarly curious attitudes. In addition a lot of the music I love by these composers, such as Pauline Oliveros and Terry Riley, comes from deep improvisation, and deep listening, and having to leave the conscious world to make musical choices. These are music-making innovations that help societies to grow, and help us listen to each other and the world we are in: In the residency, I hope we will have a collective aspiration to develop new ideas and new conversations.
How do you see the residency taking shape?
During this residency we will spend a lot of time in sonic meditation, in states of musical trance, and deep experimentation and improvisation. Through performance and practical modes, we will be focusing on the deeper qualities of sound through deep listening and deep improvisation, bringing space, acoustics and our surroundings into our music making: the aim being to truly grow as artists and have a heightened consciousness of the world of sound and the sound of the world. Our experiments, improvisations, and collaborations will culminate in a live concert at the opening night of Sounds Like THIS Festival in Leeds where we will showcase our journey and our innovations.
What do you hope the artists will take away from working with you?
My hope is that I will provide an open environment for the artists who join me on the residency so that we all find new or alternative ways of thinking and new ways of creating. In turn, I hope it will inspire them to use their artistry in a variety of new and game-changing ways in the future.
What kind of artists are you looking to apply for this residency?
I am looking for artists who are excited by experimentation, left-field composition, and are curious to explore ideas spontaneously, through performance: Your method of performance can be any form of instrument or gear, be it acoustic or electronic, conventional or unconventional. I am looking for open-minded artists who are fascinated by exploring the perception of sound, and have a curiosity to experiment with how sound interacts in space and time with many other physical forms. Finally, I am looking for artists who are interested in the intersection between many different genres, disciplines, and cultures and are looking to form future collaborations out of this project.