Bastard Assignments are a collective of composer-performers. Since 2016 they have been developing a shared creative practice, collaboratively developing their work – composing together, rehearsing together, and performing together.
“Usually composing is a lonely thing, with a genius composer that invents absolutely everything about the piece and dictates all of the minute details. We’re about composing being a collective thing rather than a private thing.”
Bastard Assignments began life as a series of events, but then as the group performed more and more of their own work, they started writing specifically for the group and the skills that we knew were in the group.
The composing and the performing is not so separate for the members of the group. In rehearsals they show each other work and give a lot of direct feedback, effectively composing in the rehearsals.
My work tends to feature found materials, pulses and repetition and often some element of endurance. I’m interested in band aesthetics or aesthetics of pop music and band playing.
I work a lot with objects and drawing. I quite often make scores that are art objects, and there’s a lot of blurring the lines between music, art and text.
I like to work with materials, I love rattling and shuffling sounds. I like thinking about how the body is clumsy and the sounds it creates when it comes in contact with materials are musical in themselves.
I had always been curious about vocal improvisation. I like vocal behaviour that extreme improvisers that use. Some of it sounds like extreme pain, some sounds like extreme ecstasy, some of it sounds like existential deathly groans and then also orgasmic pleasure and weird “giving birth sounds”, and it’s like all of these all of these sort of sounds are actually close together and not on opposite ends of the spectrum.
At the moment I’m very interested in making work between composition and something more like theatre and choreography. My piece “Tro//ing” is a piece with mime that loops in a very mysterious way, adding different layers of sound which reframes where you are, what the weather is like, what the atmosphere is, what the temperature is, almost what era it is.