lockdown collaboration: Nicolette Macleod with Tamar Daly

Framed in an ecstatic purple border with yellow waving hands, Nicolette and Tamar grin at each other through their phones. They follow each other, or not, weaving past bright sunflowers and into baths. I don’t know what’s on going on, but I want to be there.

Tamar: We wanted to keep that ‘in the moment’ element which is at the heart of improvised art forms, so we decided to use the video-chat format and play with responding to one another and filming our interaction. We also wanted to highlight the context of the pandemic and expose the ideas we were playing with, so we created a stylised backdrop for the video which helped contextualise it.

The digital platform put us both out of our comfort zones, but the fact that we have worked together in the past gave us a common ground from which to voice something of our experience in this unusual time.

Nicolette: With my composition, I create pre-recorded soundscapes and songs as well as improvised works. In theatre there are often very clear briefs and perimeters, which I really like, but when I am working on solo compositions the work is often improvised and inspired by what’s around me. I recently did some live improvised vocal recordings under a beautiful high red sandstone bridge near my home. I like playing with the differences between natural, instrumental, vocal and manipulated sounds.

I’m interested to see how the online workshops are received for WIG IV. I have some experience of delivering sessions online and both Penny and Zoe have been teaching online through lockdown. There are extra dynamics that potentially emerge and it’s something we are all aware of. There’s also an etiquette with online workshops, such as letting people know when they will be on camera. In the same way that some people might have anxiety going to a workshop in person, they might have similar concerns when online. It’s important for us to acknowledge that and facilitate the sessions with this awareness in mind.

Link to Róisín O'Brien's website