From Vietnam to Scotland, harpist Esther Swift (Edinburgh) and I have brought together our shared love of free improvisation using electronics, harp and voices. Channeling challenging and shared experiences and subjects we’re both feel passionate about – we have discussed topics like The Wilderness, Languages, Heritage and aim to deepen the mutual understanding and strengthen the collaboration with more exchanges in the future. During the 6 months of this phase of CHẠM, we had the great opportunities to invite many artists to musical and phylosophical conversations, like Gaelic singer Joy Dunlop (Glasgow), Jazz drummer Tom Bancroft (Edinburgh), electronic musician Tomes (Australia, based in Vietnam) and Hue royal court musician Hoang Tuan.
On 20 February 2022, we created a safe virtual space for 20 music enthusiasts (both musicians and non-musicians) from all corners of the world for the first time. Together we tried out different exercises, activities that were developed in the 6 months of our collaborations. For many of the participants it was the first time they could join virtual gathering to experience playing live music with a big group of people on Zoom. It was a space for everyone to explore playfulness, making mistakes, connecting, caring and sharing! This was the first stage that was culminated after an intensive period of many virtual jams and discussions.
Esther and I would like to develop our collaboration on CHẠM as an international project focusing on either virtual or face-to-face collective music improvisation. This could be a platform as well as a safe space for us to connect with each other and other music enthusiasts and help build a community of like-minded to share about playfulness, spontaneity, creativity and solidarity.
This project is supported by the British Council.