IMC’s Blind Date Jazz - A New Limited Series
Since the start of the pandemic we’ve all had less opportunity to listen and hear - feeling either isolated from other people, or besieged by a tsunami of digital content, impossible to focus and listen.
IMC’s new limited series Blind Date Jazz brings listening and creative improvisation into focus, with some of Ireland’s leading improvisers coming into the studio to create an exciting, new, musical conversation.
Neither musician has any idea who they are playing with. Unknown, unrehearsed, unplanned and unseen. Not even aware what the other instrument is. In other words, completely blind.
For Episode 7 we've paired up violinist Cora Venus Lunny with vocalist and electronic artist Jenna Harris.
Cora is an improvising violinist, violist, vocalist and composer with extensive performing, touring, and recording experience in contemporary, classical, improvised, and folk musics. A member of Yurodny and Fovea Hex, they frequently perform with Crash Ensemble, solo as a free improviser and in free duo with Izumi Kimura. A fascination with consciousness, groove, and the social realities of music drives their compositional curiosity. You can find more of Cora's work on their website coravenuslunny.ie, or support them on Patreon.
Jenna is a vocalist, composer and lecturer from Dublin. She performs regularly with her three-piece band Berri, “a group that makes clear the difference between a jazz singer and a singer of jazz songs" [The Irish Times] and performs electroacoustic music under her own name. Jenna lectures on DCU's BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance. In performance Jenna improvises using both her natural voice and live processing of her voice. This has developed a style of improvisation that intrinsically links the two, both feeding back and forth from each other. Her performances often incorporate reactive visuals that she builds as a platform to exhibit the voice as the instrument it is. Find more of Jenna's work at her website jenna.ie or on her Soundcloud.
So, join us on this journey, as we introduce the two performers, shepherding them into the studio while completely hiding from each other’s sight. A curtain bisects the studio, obscuring the artists from one another.
They begin to play, exchanging musical thoughts, sentences, developing a theme and interacting only through the music, an open mind and completely blind. Our studio curtain drops at a certain point and they come face to face with their new improvising partner. Does the musical conversation change?
Blind Date Jazz is an exploration in listening, intuition, skill and spontaneity, all unique hallmarks of the improvising artist.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to find out each Wednesday what musicians we've paired up for this week's blind date, and tune in each Sunday evening on Facebook, Youtube or IGTV to listen in to their musical conversation.
“Jazz music is the power of now. There is no script. It’s conversation.”
- Wynton Marsalis
Cora Venus Lunny
Cora Venus Lunny is an improvising violinist, violist, vocalist and composer with extensive performing, touring, and recording experience in contemporary, classical, improvised, and folk musics. A member of Yurodny and Fovea Hex, they frequently perform with Crash Ensemble, solo as a free improviser and in free duo with Izumi Kimura. A fascination with consciousness, groove, and the social realities of music drives their compositional curiosity.
Born in Dublin, Cora was first given a violin at the age of three and never looked back. A life in music became their goal and, from the age of thirteen, they studied classical violin intensively with highly respected violinists around Europe, including Rimma Sushanskaya, Joji Hattori, Alexander Arenkov, Arkady Futer, Lara Lev and Vladimir Spivakov. They were frequently to be found performing concertos and recitals to critical acclaim around Ireland and Europe, and when they were 20, Nigel Kennedy chose them to join him as second soloist on a tour of Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia.
For the next few years, Cora appeared on over 30 albums of recorded music and in innumerable gigs. They have worked with, to mention just a few, Damien Rice, The Republic of Loose, Kanye West, Laura Sheeran, The Jimmy Cake, Camille O’Sullivan, Julie Feeney, The Blizzards. Their interests began to branch out from the classical soloist template which they had been indoctrinated in, and their skills expanded to incorporate improvisation, composition, the viola, vocal & ensemble work, and recording.
A fascination with consciousness and groove drives their passion for music and performance. Cora has a special fondness for bringing new music to diverse audiences, and they have premiered many contemporary works as a soloist, with their string quartet, with the Crash Ensemble, and as a collaborator. Their own albums, “1943” (2011), a self-produced EP of covers and originals, and “Terminus: Conscientiae” (2014), a spontaneously composed response to Bartok’s Solo Sonata, are available on Diatribe/Rue Faubourg Records.
"...Lunny travels back and forth between single and dual voices, mournful and dramatic melody, trance-like mellowness and boldly defined rhythms, lyricism and dissonance."– All About Jazz