Four winds proudly presents ‘Artists in Residence: The String Contingent’.

A whole week of musical creativity and improvisation to generate potential new pieces for their album and their upcoming tour.

The String Contingent  will pull back the curtains on the process of creativity by sharing their daily input on this blog.

On top of that, The String Contingent  will experiment with creating music by improvising rather than showing just the finished, perfectly rehearsed piece. It’s an experiment to focus on their ‘weak points’ as musicians; to confront themselves with not having total control over the creation but letting themselves drift into a new way of creating music.

We invite you to be part of this journey. To get directly involved by giving us and them your honest feedback.
Your comments, feedback, questions and suggestions will all affect and influence the process of their rehearsals and thinking.

After the tour, The String Contingent  will return to the Windsong Pavilion in April to record their new album.

The residency will be captured by Rafael and Sophia who will film, photograph and blog.

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Retrospect / Au revoir!

A week full of emotions, practice, and an inspiring musical progress in improvisation has come to an end.

From slight fear to overexcitement, from frustration and holding back to breathing in and letting go. From discomfort and insecurity to curiosity. Towards finding a way that feels comfortable for everyone.
Less tension. More comfort. More ease.
All accompanied with dedication, enthusiasm and of course a big bunch of talent.
All leading to a productive ambience of flow and joy.

I wish they could have stayed for another week from this point – to benefit from this newly gained flow and confidence, and especially the ease that settled in their minds and hands while jamming.

It was incredibly interesting to be able to observe this progress and get such a deep insight.

I am very curious to see what the next months will bring while they keep improvising and evolving their ideas on their tour. New experiences at each gig. Breaking out of old habits into this exciting excursion of this diverse new ways of playing and thinking. Live in concert – in front of an audience!

They will be back in April at Four Winds to record their new improvisation based album, with the pieces they developed and refined during their upcoming tour.

Stay tuned on this blog! More pieces and Soundcloud files of The String Contingent will follow!

Au revoir!

Yours sincerely,
Sophia

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In the nude

No magic. Toil. Despair. Practice. Confusion. Reality.

The String Contingent  reveals with ‘In the nude’ an extract of how much work goes into creating music.

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Improvisation – live in concert

“In the nude. Without a net. In front of everyone.”
A pretty laconic sum up by Steve who attended the first live improvisation in concert of The String Contingent.

The video gives a beautiful insight into one of the challenges of free jamming: Communication.
Lean back, have a look and in best case let us know what you feel and think!

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Improvisation 1 / Day 2

As an “outsider” observing the whole process, you realize quickly how delicate it must be for a band to give up their routine and habits by focusing on improvising.

There are a lot of emotions involved and it requires a lot of courage and discipline. One needs to stay alert all the time to be able to adapt changes and interact harmoniously. It’s definitely a great way to get a better understanding of harmonies, melodies, rhythms but also emotions involved and personal limits.

It is fascinating to see how much personality gets unveiled and how important it is to listen to each other. To keep the balance of engagement and release. The String Contingent  managed well to create a base where creativity can flow.

Later in the afternoon, they performed an intimate concert where they seized the opportunity to play a freely improvised piece in front of an audience for the first time.

Please find below an excerpt of the first improvisation that resulted of the residency.
For those you are interested in the whole session, indulge yourself with the full extended version via the soundcloud link below!

Four Winds and The String Contingent  highly encourage you to give us your opinion.
Is there anything that attracted your attention in particular? Anything you really enjoyed or would like to be worked on?
We are happy to receive any constructive critiques, comments and any upcoming questions via the comment form below.

Full extended version of the jam:

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The Arrival // Day 1

After more heavy rain fall and even more closed east coast roads, The String Contingent  finally arrived safely at The Windsong Pavilion at Four Winds.

The String Contingent let their passion, talent and ambition pair up with a remarkable endurance to lead into a productive day full of improvising. Warming up in the spotlight of the pavilion with a rewarding view out of the big front window, they didn’t miss a minute to get the most out of the residency.

It’s a real pleasure to be part of this process and to have the opportunity to provide a supportive atmosphere for their creative improvised project.

You, too, could be part of this process! Is there anything particular you would love to see and hear?
Just leave a comment on the bottom of this blog and share your opinion with us.

So long for now. We’ll keep you updated.

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Almost day one

The rain decided to have a bigger impact on their arrival than expected.
A short intro to almost day one: