Cinclus Cinclus – a language-free improvisation production for small children

UPDATE UK Dates for Cinclus Cinclus.

12 October – The Hothouse, Morecambe. Maja Bugge (UK) Terje Isungset (NO) and Matt Robsinson (UK).
13 October – The Mechanics Marsden Jazz festival. Maja Bugge (UK) Terje Isungset (NO) and Matt Robsinson (UK).

Cinclus Cinclus is the Latin name of a small bird called the White Throated Dipper that lives beside streams and rivers in Norway and the North of England. The bird has a curious ‘dipping’ dance and walks underwater in fast flowing streams in its relentless search for food. An appropriate onomatopoeia for the sound world created by the artists taking part in our Norwegian-British collaboration between Jazz North and Vestnorsk Jazz Center.

The goal was to create a new concert production for children, who could work anywhere in the world and not be dependent on a particular language. The project came about through Jazz North’s membership of the Europe Jazz Network and was initiated in May 2017. To quote one of the musicians; «Languages ​​are more than enough from other places». Since then, Matt Robinson (saxophone), Maja Bugge (cello), Per Jørgensen (trumpet, vocal, percussion) and Terje Isungset (drums, rock and birch sticks) have met together in England and Norway for exploratory sessions to develop the concept.

Per and Terje are based in the scenic and wild Fjords on the West Coast of Norway. Matt and Maja have both base in Lancaster. They have different backgrounds and the two pairs had not met each other before. The musical collaboration between them has nevertheless worked out well and resulted in a wordless pursuit of sounds and music, which the children are allowed to participate in. In January the musicians met again in Bergen for a test concert with an invited expert panel with 15 primary school children from Møhlenpris School. Producer Hallgeir Frydenlund, who contributed to the artistic content, talked to the children after concerts and received their immediate feedback. They were very positive, so there was no need for big changes, but something will be different the next time anyway. Because although much of the content is composed in advance, there is much that is created there and then.

The first public performance of Cinclus Cinclus was be on Saturday March 24 at Vossa Jazz Festival. The project toured in Norway Autumn 2018 and we hope that we will be able to include some dates in the UK. If any festival directors are looking for a child-focussed interactive performance for their programme please get in touch.

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Photographs and video by Jarle H. Moe.