| Social Virtuosity with Maggie Nicols & Maureen Wolloshin

IKLECTIK presents, | Social Virtuosity with Maggie Nicols & Maureen Wolloshin

Wednesday 29 March 2023 | Doors: 7pm | Start: 7:30pm
Our Kiosk opens 1 hour before doors.

Tickets: General Admission – £11.50 Advance / £13 OTD | Student – £7 Advance / £8 OTD

With Maggie Nicols (voice), patternbook (Heledd Francis Wright (flutes), Frances Knight (keyboard, accordion, piano), Nadia Tewfik-Bailey (violin), Maureen Wolloshin (oboes, gliss anglais)) and Emmanuelle Waeckerlé (voice).

Compositional and improvisation freedoms, recurring themes in our series, tend to prioritise instrumental virtuosity over the socio-politico-environmental dynamics at play between all involved in a musical situation: composer, players, listeners, curators, tech team, funders. ‘Social virtuosity’, a term coined by legendary vocalist and founder of FIG (Feminist Improvising Group) Maggie Nicols to denote the capacity for effective interpersonal interaction through music making, is what we are focusing on for the three concerts of this 5th season. “FIG, an international free improvising avant-garde jazz and experimental music ensemble formed in London in 1977, was challenging “technological elitism” and fixed notions of “musical competency” and this was often dismissed by male musicians” (Smith, J.D. 2004).

For this concert Maggie Nicols will join composer and oboe player Maureen Wolloshin, a PhD researcher at UCA working on a feminist investigation into the agency of gender and instrument in British Free Improvisation, and whose findings have inspired the theme and curation of the three concerts of 2023. The next concert (26th April 2023) will feature members of the seminal London Improvisation Workshop and Eddie Prevost (founder of AMM fame), showcasing some of the unique improvising group strategies developed over the twenty-two years of the workshop existence. The works chosen for this programme explore individual vs collective agency between soloist and ensemble, as well as sonic intimacy in notated or text compositions and free or structured improvisation.

A (Maureen Wolloshin, 2021) – Maggie Nicols and patternbook
Spider ballet (Frances Knight, 2021) – patternbook
What is left if we aren’t the world (Emmanuelle Waeckerlé, 2022) – Maggie Nicols, patternbook, Emmanuelle Waeckerlé
Sketches (Maggie Nicols, 1970’s) – Maggie Nicols, patternbook, Emmanuelle Waeckerlé
Improv – Maggie Nicols, patternbook, Emmanuelle Waeckerlé

followed by a discussion led by Maureen Wolloshin and Emmanuelle Waeckerlé

This is the 13th iteration of the concerts series after Social Virtuosity with Eva-Maria Houben (Feb 2023), Concept ventriloquy | Cage, Ellis, Oliveros, Reage (May 2022), Space ventriloquy |  Mike McEvoy, Plangency, Sea of Cables (March 2022), Seamus Cater & Alexander J. Ellis (February 2022), Parkinson Saunders (May 2021), Voice & Electronics with Sadd, Moore, Waeckerlé and Ziv (April 2021), Greg Caffrey (IE, March 2021), Marie Cécile Reber (CH, Feb 2020), Gildas Quartet (UK, Oct 2019), Marcus Kaiser (DE, May 2019), Stefan Thut (CH, April 2019), Jessica Aslan and Emma Lloyd (UK, March 2019). concert series
A collaboration between bookRoom and the Audio Research Cluster at UCA Farnham, curated by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and Harry Whalley, around their common research in extended, textual, visual, gestural and object scores and ways to experience technology in text / music / film / performances. The project is supported by UCA research fund.

Maggie Nicols

Maggie Nicols is an experimental and improvising vocalist, dancer, and performer, active on the UK and European improvisational community since joining the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in the late ’60s. She was a founding member with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper of the Feminist Improvising Group in 1977 and has run for over 30 years regular improvisation meetings called The Gatherings. She continues performing and recording solo or in collaborations (Irene Schweitzer, Joelle Leandre, Ken Hyder, Caroline Kraabel) as well as supporting women in improvised music, dancing and other creative arts, recently co-founding The Noisy Women collective with Faradena Afifi, Gwendolyn Kassenaar, and Marion Treby.


patternbook evolved from the Canterbury based Free Range improvising and experimental sound community and uses compositions by group members together with a carefully curated selection from contemporary chamber music as starting points for improvisation. All are established musicians from different disciplines, driven by their commitment to prioritising deep listening and sensitive dialogue. Frances is a jazz pianist, Maureen a free improvising oboist, Heledd a flautist experienced in chamber and orchestral work, and Nadia a violinist whose expertise and improvising is in music therapy. They are founder members of the Free Women improvising group.

Frances Knight

Frances Knight is a writer, musician and composer who originally studied Fine Art then switched informally to jazz, playing gigs live, then going on to study at the Guildhall. She is part of numerous eclectic and diverse projects, ranging from jazz and blues through to  improvised music, Argentinian Tango and circus. She has released several albums on her own label Mandeville Records, working with amongst others Tony Coe, Paul Booth and Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine).

Heledd Francis Wright

Heledd Francis Wright is a flautist and composer whose work encompasses solo, chamber and orchestral appearances alongside television and radio broadcasts on BBC1, Radio 3, Radio Wales, Channel 4, and ABC Classic FM. Performing at venues across the UK and western Europe, she has collaborated with composers, djs, choreographers and sound artists.  In her work as an educator, Heledd works as a conductor and ensemble coach, and with flute students up to postgraduate level and beyond. 

Nadia Tewfik-Bailey

After attending music college in Perth, Australia, Nadia moved to the UK to continue her studies, playing in and leading local orchestras.  Alongside this she toured the UK playing in punk-cabaret band The Lovely Brothers and was a founding member of jazz-rock band The-Quartet. Improvisation has been central to her practice as a music therapist for 17 years but it wasn’t until 2018 that she joined the Free Range Orchestra. This led to the formation of a multi-disciplinary performance group called Free Women and the more music-focussed patternbook.

Maureen Wolloshin

Maureen Wolloshin is an improviser, researcher, and oboist. Her research presents free improvisation as a feminist practice. Maureen’s improvising extends the timbral and tonal range of the oboe and cor anglais. Her composition explores the connection between graphic notation, touch, and sound. Maureen has been invited to present her work by Laboratorio Audio Visuale in Madrid, Electric Medway Festival, Helsinki University for the Arts, Greenwich University, the RMA Music and/as Process conference, and at Wintersound Festival in Canterbury, which she co-curates with composer and performer Matt Wright.

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé is an artist, academic, composer and improviser. Her practice and research explore the materiality and musicality of language, evolving across multiple interconnected work zones – conceptual writing, performance, new musical composition, artist-publishing, curating (, Cosy Nook). Ultimately devising situations to play (with) our interior or exterior landscape and each other. Her music and scores are distributed by Wandelweiser editions. She is a Reader in Fine Art and Relational Practices and director of bookRoom research and publishing platform at UCA Farnham, fostering a dialogue between Fine Art and Experimental Music.

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