SPARCfest 2018: Union Division
Coinciding with the 2018 SPARC Symposium, a performance by Union Division, comprising leading figures from the UK improvised music scene, with their daring and creative approach to spontaneous music. Following on from the work of, amongst others, John Zorn, Sun Ra, Christian Wolff, Anthony Braxton, Barry Guy and ICP Orchestra, Union Division present a new practice that brings compositional structures into the improvised situation, and explores the power dynamics at play within large ensemble interaction. The ensemble works with a lexicon of musical mechanisms and accompanying hand signs whereby players are able to nominate themselves to take temporary control, and attempt to coordinate the group in various ways. Each player has equal power to shape the performance, able to make compositional decisions whilst maintaining their improvisational freedoms. The music is generated through constantly renewed free-associations between the players and given materials, each piece constructed in real time by the hive mind of the group.