Les Diaboliques

This is a guest post.

Pioneers of feminist free improvisation Les Diaboliques – Scottish vocalist Maggie Nicols, French bassist Joëlle Léandre and Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer – are performing in Bristol this November!
Sunday 20 November                                    

Arnolfini, Bristol
w/ Halftone

3-4pm Panel with Nicols, Schweizer and Léandre
Book tickets here (free with tickets for the evening performance)
7.30pm Performance                                           
£14 full/ £12.50 concessions

In the world of free improvisation Nicols, Léandre and Schweizer have been there and done it all.
Their collective CV reads like a who’s who of avant-garde music in the 20th and 21st centuries. They have played with all the legendary figures including John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, John Stevens, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, Phil Minton and many others.
They are also towering musicians in their own right. Schweizer and Nicols were members of the iconic Feminist Improvising Group (FIG) and performed with Léandre in the European Women’s Improvising Group. 

In Les Diaboliques, formed in 1990, Nicols, Léandre and Schweizer’s incomparable personalities combine to invent music of depth, unpredictability, intensity and delirious humour.
For Nicols, Léandre and Schweizer, free improvisation charts the path to musical and social liberation.
Be there to witness what is likely to be the last chance to see this trio perform in England.
Bristol audiences also have a unique opportunity to hear the artists talk about the history of feminist free improvisation and its ongoing evolution. This panel discussion will take place 3-4pm on Sunday 20 November. Free with evening performance but booking essential.
Supported by Halftone:

Early in 2016, a group of Bristol-based improvisers embarked on a musical journey to push past the conventions of their traditional instruments – flute, violin, cello and double bass – the quartet explore ever-expanding sonic possibilities. Halftone play part-composed music; being interested in the conscious or unconscious improvisatory responses generated by musical, and extra-musical, prompts and restraints.

Halftone is: Tina Hitchens – Flute / Yvonna Magda – Violin / Hannah Marshall – Cello / Caitlin Alais Callahan – Double Bass
“My favourite band of Irène and Maggie and Joëlle is Les Diaboliques. It’s three people who are totally in tune with each other. They are doing completely different things, but they are doing them in this incredible synergy that – you just can’t fake that. It’s something that when they came together, you saw the same kind of response. What you were seeing was people – women being totally at home with themselves on stage, being open about their personalities, their sexualities, their sounds, communicating in this extraordinary way.”
‘Expect the unexpected, but also expect that our own musical histories will come out. We’re not afraid to go into a little waltz, a bit of blues, Irène might play some township music because of her history working with the first exiled South African musicians during apartheid. Joëlle might sing a bit of opera, do some theatre. It’s all about being human, and it’s a shared experience that the audience are part of. None of us know what we’re going to do, and the audience affect what we do. It’s not a music that you have to “understand.” A lot of people think, oh my god, I have to understand what’s going on with freely improvised music. It’s a sensuous experience, feel the music through the body and emotions. Les Diaboliques is not an intellectual exercise, it’s about energy.’
— Maggie Nicols

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