Maggie Nicols is a singer and a pioneer of free improvisation in the UK. She joined London’s legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 and began running voice workshops, using the techniques of the SME’s John Stevens. She also worked in local experimental theatre. Later she was a member of the large ensemble Centipede, led by Keith Tippett. In 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, she formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. Maggie continues to perform worldwide and record challenging and beautiful work. When she is not performing solo she collaborates with a wide range of artists including Joëlle Leandre, Irene Schweizer and Phil Minton.
'Unpredictable: Conversations with Improvisers’ is a collection of videos that have grown out of a deep research into the nature of Free Improvisation, its history in the UK and its international connections. The collection responds to the urgent need to investigate the genre and its rich legacy. Research and filming began in 2011. It was directed and produced by artist, curator and educator Blanca Regina in collaboration with Steve Beresford and Pierre Bouvier Patron. The series was commissioned by Sound and Music for the 50th anniversary of the British Music Collection.
The series focus on twelve active performers, interviewing pioneers like Terry Day and Maggie Nicols and, from the second generation, Steve Beresford, David Toop and Peter Cusack.
Women have always been an important presence in Free Improvisation but this has not always been reflected in how the genre is seen. In ‘Unpredictable Series’ we made a point of including more women than men, particularly women with developing careers in the field.
Many of these videos have been filmed in the context of 'Unpredictable' events, and others have followed the artists into key London venues like Cafe OTO and IKLECTIK. These are two of the most important venues in the UK for freely improvised music – a genre that sprang to life in the mid ‘60s, has always had a strong community in London, but is often not fully acknowledged.
Blanca Regina and Steve Beresford created 'Unpredictable', a series with an emphasis on Free Improvisation that features exhibitions, performances, talks, films and publications. In 2014 they were joined by Pierre Bouvier Patron.
Directed and produced by Blanca Regina
Advisor: Steve Beresford
Camera and editors: Pierre Bouvier Patron & Blanca Regina
Sound: Blanca Regina
Photographies by Tomi Osuna, Nadjib Le Fleurier, Jak Kilby and Pierre Bouvier Patron
Thanks to Mike Figgis venues and musicians Cafe Oto, Fielding Hope, IKLECTIK, Eduard Solaz, William Morris Galley and many more
More information at www.unpredictable.info