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caroline kraabel

I grew up in Seattle (USA), and came to London (UK) as a teenager, just too late to realise my punk dreams. Instead I discovered the saxophone and expressed my love for it via an indie band and street performance. London’s vibrant improvised music scene gave me opportunities to stretch my playing, especially the use of voice with the sax, and I also started to think about acoustics and the interactions of electricity and music: reproduction (recording, amplification) and synthesis, and their implications.


Some Work:

Taking a Life for a Walk, a weekly or fortnightly wander through London streets with my child(ren) and sax, was broadcast live on Resonance 104.4fm for nearly five years. Music In Your Head is a live acoustic performance that takes place inside the head of its audience of one. Recording an Impression, a piece of radio and postal art, was also broadcast on Resonance 104.4 fm. My Foolish Machine, a half-hour radio art piece broadcast across Europe in 2006. Saxophone Experiments in Space, a site-specific ambulant composition for 55 saxophonists, made for the South Bank Centre in London. All of this work came from a desire to make explicit the uniqueness of each way of making and receiving sound, which also relates to trying to live and work with integrity in the literal sense.


Releases:

Kraabel/Weston/Sanders: Playtime

2009 CD featuring Veryan Weston (piano), Mark Sanders (drums) and Caroline Kraabel. Improvisations and songs with improvised accompaniment and arrangements.

Giving Out/In the Garden City

A 2009 double CD, each disc of which features an improvising duo: Caroline Kraabel/Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar) on Giving Out, and Caroline Kraabel/Annie Lewandowski (prepared piano) on In the Garden City.

Bilingual ABCs

Two ABC books, one in Polish and English, the other in French and English. (2009)

http://carolinekraabel.free.fr

including the text This Recorded Music is for the Ears of Dead People Only.

Resonance Magazine and CD, issue 10.2: Locality and Reproduction During 2005 I edited this magazine, interviewing John Butcher, John Tilbury and Joe Banks, and commissioning work by Susan Alcorn, Michael Chanan, Evan Eisenberg, Phil England, Sachiko M, Matt Wand, Sarah Washington, and many others. The subject area is the interaction of music with place and technology, and the manifold ramifications (physical, ecological, theoretical) of this.

Mass Producers

A 20-piece saxophone/voice orchestra, all women. I’ve made 4 pieces for this group since 1998. We have recorded one CD, Performances for Large Saxophone Ensemble 1 and 2, and one analogue (vinyl) LP featuring guest Maggie Nicols (voice), Performances for Large Saxophone Ensemble 3 and 4

Shock Exchange

This is my long-standing duo with John Edwards. He plays contrabass and sometimes sings, I play the saxophone and sing. In the years that we’ve been playing together we have played many songs (our own and other people’s), but now we improvise, aiming for intuition and communication. We’ve also occasionally played as a trio, with Charles Hayward or with Richard E Harrison. 

The London Improvisers Orchestra

This is a big group of improvising musicians that has been meeting and performing in London each month for over ten years to try and find appropriate ways of improvising for large ensembles. We play completely improvised pieces and we also play pieces devised and/or conducted by members of the group, including myself; for example, a series of my pieces entitled Hearing Reproduction 1-8, some of which feature on CDs of the orchestra released by Emanem. 

Kraabel/Weston

A duo with pianist Veryan Weston. One CD, Five Shadows, of live concert recordings in acoustically interesting venues.

Kraabel/Hug/Nicols

Trio with Maggie Nicols (voice) and Charlotte Hug (viola). Sometimes an exploration of three different alto instruments. One CD, Transitions.

Liverpool Shadows

This project went on for a couple of years. Phil Hargreaves (tenor and soprano sax, flute) and I played duos in a variety of very different-sounding spaces in Liverpool (a road tunnel under the Mersey, an anechoic chamber, a huge dome, George’s Hall, etc.) A CD, Where We Were – Shadows of Liverpool, interweaves these recordings in which the acoustic spaces become a part of the group.

Now We Are One Two 1995-1997. A solo performance work, using some live tape recording and playback, a giant sheet of newspaper, dance, song, blood and speech as well as written and improvised solo saxophone parts. Toured across Europe and the USA, released as a CD.