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Blind Date Jazz Episode 7 - Cora Venus Lunny

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Musicians often describe improvising with each other as having a conversation - listening, throwing out ideas, responding and developing on each other’s musical thoughts, all in real time.

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.

The twist?

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.

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.

The twist? 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.

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.

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