Derek Bailey: videos and video samples
Derek Bailey on video
A series of four 55 minute films shown on Channel 4 TV in the UK in early 1992. To say this was the best and most intelligent
analysis of improvisation to be screened on UK television is probably unnecessary: it has in all likelihood been the only
televised programme on this form of music-making. Written and narrated by Derek Bailey, produced and directed by Jeremy Marr, it developed out of the first edition
of Bailey's book on improvisation (the broadcast almost coinciding with the publication of the second edition) and attempted to
provide a world-view of the subject, not being bound by country, musical genre or preconception. The four programmes were:
Grey suit is a video arts magazine issued quarterly, edited on highband and distributed on VHS in all standard international
broadcast systems (PAL, NTSC, SECAM). It features writers, artists, film-makers and performers as well as work by artists and
composers; contributions can be in any language. Twelve issues of Grey suit were published up to the end of1995; there is currently
a hiatus but most back copies are available from 21 Augusta Street, Adamstown,
Cardiff CF2 1EN, Wales; tel and fax: +44 (0) 122 248 9565. Subscription rate £60 pa; individual copies £21.
- 1: Passing it on
Broadcast 2 February 1992 this programme featured: Douglas Ewart at Haynes School in Chinatown, Chicago; improvisation in
Mozart with Robert Levin, piano and the Acadamy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood; John Zorn and Cobra; improvisation
in religious and devotional music and communities with: Naji Hakim - organ improvisations in Paris; Gaelic psalm singing
on the Scottish Isles of Harris and Lewis; and Indian singing with Pundit Hanuman Misra.
- 2: Movements in time
Broadcast 9 February 1992, tracing the effects of migration on improvising links across continents and the production of
new styles from the combinations: qawwali from the Sufis in New Delhi, Northern India; Hindu music of Rajistan with
Ram Narayan; early medieval music performed in Andalucia by Symphony (Stevie Wishart, Mark Loopuy, Jim Denley); improvisation
in dance with: Mario Maya, flamenco; Indian kathak mime and movement; and Egyptian gypsy music; the mixture of Cuban music
and jazz with Eddie Palmieri.
- 3: A liberating thing
Broadcast 16 February 1992, concentrating on jazz based and free improvisation. With Max Roach at the Harlam School of the
Arts; Butch Morris conducting (with, among others, Shelley Hirsch); Sang-Won Park and Korean music; Max Eastley's sound sculptures;
Derek Bailey (solo and fleetingly with Phil Wachsmann, Steve Noble and Alex Ward); Steve Noble and Alex Ward duo; Nashville musicians
including Buddy Emmons; Eugene Chadbourne.
- 4: Nothin premeditated
Broadcast 23 February 1992, with Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead; Buddy Guy; George Lewis and computers (and in quartet
with Douglas Ewart and sound and video generation); mbira music from Zimbabwe; music of the Tonga people; concluding with
a house party on the Lower East side.
Grey suit 4, published in Winter 1993, featured a 5 minute video on Derek Bailey, 'the renowned guitarist, pioneer of
free improvisation', concentrating on close up hand movements of, alternately, right and left hands. Filmed outdoors. Derek Bailey's
music is also featured over the closing credits of the whole of this issue of Grey suit.
The first Incus video, a duo performance between Derek Bailey and tap dancer Will Gaines, filmed in Derby, June 1995. For full details,
see the separate page on Incus VD01.
Video samples from Will include:
- The first clip shows Derek solo: 14 seconds; 1.2 MBytes
- The second clip shows Derek and Will Gaines together: 31 seconds; 3.2 MBytes
- The third clip is of Will's feet: 40 seconds; 4.0 MBytes
- and the final clip is 17 seconds from the very end of the video; excellent stuff and quite arty too! And only 1.8 MBytes
The second Incus video featuring a concert in Japan between Derek Bailey and the Butoh dancer Min Tanaka, filmed in Hakushu, Japan
in August 1993.
The third Incus video: a Company concert from August 1993 in Hakushu, Japan featuring: Derek Bailey; Motoharu Yoshizawa; Shonosuki Okura; Koichi Makigami;
Sachiko Nagata; Kenichi Takeda; Wataru Okuma; Kazue Sawai; Yukihiro Isso; and Keizo Inoue.
The fourth Incus video, a pub gig of a duo performance of Derek Bailey and John Stevens, filmed in London,
in August 1992. Full details are available here, and there are two video clips, of John Stevens rather than Derek Bailey.
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