Those daily press conferences keep reminding us, we are in ‘unprecedented’ times.
As the country and economy grinds to a halt, musicians across the world face the prospect of several months without the income, exposure and, most importantly, interaction that live performance gives them.
Interaction: it’s the essence and lifeblood of live music. And, for improvisational folk-duo The Ciderhouse Rebellion, it is the music.
With tour dates for their stunning debut album Untold postponed, master accordionist Murray Grainger and fiddle player Adam Summerhayes decided that a series of videoed improvisational performances, The online InCider Sessions, might allow them the interaction and connection with each other and their audience that will be so sorely missed during this troublesome period.
The problem arises though of how do two musicians, separated by 50 miles and in a time of social distancing, enforced isolation and reduced travel, collaborate in real time when they can’t sit in the same room, react to each other in real time, and engage in a true musical conversation?
In this high-tech age of fibre broadband and multiple Gs, you’d have thought it would be as simple as starting a video call and hitting record. But no, the issue of latency – the time lag between creating the sound and the other person hearing it, both ways round – raises its head, and so for both to hear each other in the same time as they are creating the music is impossible.
After several failed attempts at using video conferencing apps the duo, led by Murray, turned to a combination of no-nonsense landline telephones and a Heath-Robinson-esque system of desoldered-mouthpieces, mic’d up earpieces and headphones wrapped in blankets.
The details are slightly mind-boggling, and yet to be perfected, but the results are clear: a new improvised track, never played or heard before, performed in real time.
Necessity is the mother of invention they say, and invention is necessary to the work of The Ciderhouse Rebellion – InCider Session #1 is a piece of music that didn’t exist until it was performed, that couldn’t exist without the technological workarounds devised, and would never have existed were it not for the situation we find ourselves in today.
We’re all trying to connect remotely right now, so connect with The Ciderhouse Rebellion on Tuesdays at 8.30pm facebook.com/
The Incider Sessions #1: