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The Avant Garden Drop In Centre @ Round Chapel & St Augustine's Tower Hackney, March 2021

THE AVANT GARDEN DROP IN CENTRE was when 21 of us came together and explored the cavernous acoustics of two beautiful and empty historic spaces: Round Chapel and St Augustine's Tower.

L-R: Leon Clowes, Matt Hulse, Tom Rain, Sami Fitz, Martial Ramage, Dav Shiel, photo by Irma Adinda

This four day artist residency took place at this moment when we all cautiously - hopefully - await a lifting of the lockdown restrictions after the year of coronavirus.

Still of Jo-Anne Cox from film footage by Matt Hulse

We played, tapped, laughed, drank, clapped, moved, devised, spoke, shouted, sang, hummed, recorded, created.

L-R: Caleb Francis, Rachelle Romeo, Alicia Graham, Tom Rain, Matt Hulse

The result is a 90-minute edited audio montage. You can hear this on SoundCloud...

... and THE AVANT GARDEN DROP IN CENTRE is now also available on Mixcloud:

Inside the grand piano in Round Chapel, photo by Martial Ramage

There is more to follow. Films were made especially by Matt Hulse and Eliot Gelberg-Wilson. Recordings will be coming from Jake Reynolds, Andrew Clarke, Andrew Knight-Hill, J. Milo Taylor and Joel Cahen.

Still of Julia Zinnbauer from film footage by Matt Hulse (both of PINHOLE COMPUTERS)

With thanks to Hackney Historic Buildings Trust for donating the use of their venues.

Hackney Historic Buildings Trust and Round Chapel logos

We had free use of Round Chapel and St. Augustine's Tower to make The Avant Garden Drop In Centre from 7th-10th March 2021 and the resulting audio montage was first broadcast on Reel Rebels Radio on 15th March 2021.

AGAMA recording a live set and video, photo by Andrew Clark

It was a most magical four day residency. People were excited and inspired. It really felt like the start of something. Like we could breathe again and have some hope of more possibilities. New collaborations beckon.

Cameron Sinclair and Angus Farquhar playing marimba, photo by Andrew Knight-Hill

None of it would have been possible without the people who made it happen. In alphabetical order they were: AGAMA, Alex Malonda, Alicia Graham, Anders Morris Knight, Andrew Clark, Andrew Knight-Hill, Angus Farquhar, Becky Morris Knight, Caleb Francis, Cameron Sinclair, Concrete Armbands, Dav Shiel, Elijah Young, Eliot Gelberg-Wilson, Jake Reynolds, J. Milo Taylor, Jo-Anne Cox, Joel Cahen, Julia Zinnbauer, Kamran Ramsden, Leah Kardos, Martial Ramage, Matt Hulse, Mr Rainify, Natasha Natarajan, PINHOLE COMPUTERS, Rachelle Romeo and Sami Fitz. (click on names in blue to go to find out more about them)

L-R J. Milo Taylor and Joel Cahen exploring the acoustics

Extra special thanks to Irma Adinda for giving me the opportunity, and for nothing ever being a problem.

L-R Jake Reynolds and Andrew Clark, the dream team of sound production

I have much gratitude and admiration for both Matt Hulse as a mentor and collaborator, and for Jake Reynolds for his tireless and resourceful approach of capturing the residency in sound.

Still of Mr Rainify and Matt Hulse from film footage by Matt

Matt and Jake brought in artists and musicians new to me. This is a collective work and new friends were made. It's a moment in time that none of us will forget.

The bell of St Augustine's Tower Hackney

Click though on the links below to listen to THE AVANT GARDEN DROP IN CENTRE: SoundCloud

Leah Kardos takes to the podium in Round Chapel

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