YUKI & EZRA // DANCE & MUSIC IMPROVISATION 3 // INVITATIONS
Dance: Yukiko Masui & Ajani Johnson-Goffe / Music: Ezra Axelrod & Adrián Viafara
Sometimes inviting someone to share in the intimacy of my creative process is the hardest thing to do. I’m good at producing work independently, and over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to a process that is for the most part solitary. But I realised a few months back that this tendency wasn’t serving me anymore. I would sometimes go a whole week without seeing another person, and tell myself that it was “okay” because at least I’d been productive. It’s easy to fall into the trap of measuring my growth as an artist by how much I produce. But I was missing out on the most fundamental part of being an artist: the intimate connections you can build with others to collectively push the boundaries of our expression and consciousness. So earlier this year when I started reaching out to my peers to do improv sessions, something shifted. My ability to take creative risks increased. I experienced a reconnection between my instinct and my body, making music not as a rational task, but as an extension of my physicality.
It was a rush to create this music during an improv with Adrián Viafara, a musician in Cali who I admire greatly. We set up two microphones, put on headphones, and started stomping, clapping and singing out rhythms until we entered into a trance. The point of the exercise isn’t creating a polished track, but experiencing how new musical ideas manifest in our bodies, discovering ways of moving our muscles to create sounds we hadn’t imagined before. From these exercises we can draw inspiration for our individual projects. But most importantly, we’re left with the rush of having shared an intensely intimate creative experience, full of life and honesty.
After this session, I sent the music to Yukiko Masui in London, who asked Ajani Johnson-Goffe to do a dance improv in response to Adrián and my session. This video is the result.