Working Sessions is a collaborative improvisation project featuring trombonist Jeb Bishop and dancer Clyde F. Smith.
Jeb Bishop is an internationally renowned improvisational jazz trombonist currently based in Boston. You can find out more about his background on Wikipedia, including a discography, and on his personal website.
Clyde Smith is a dancer and writer. You can find out more about his academic and dance history (to be updated) as well as his work as a business writer.
Initial discussions and documentation of Working Sessions can be found in these posts linked individually below:
- Working Sessions: An Improvisational Collaboration
- A Working Sessions Dialogue Between Jeb Bishop And Clyde F. Smith
- Working Sessions at CAM Raleigh
- Working Sessions: Work in Progress
From the upcoming Contemporary Performance Almanac 2019 published by Contemporary Performance:
With Working Sessions, Jeb Bishop and Clyde Smith initiated a collaborative process that has been unfolding ever since.
The core was to meet, choose a spot and improvise.
Clyde dances and Jeb plays trombone.
Same place, same time. That’s it.
The process of finding suitable locations became a quest for architectural spaces that gave us something off which to play.
A formal space, a clear shape, an architectural act to which to respond.
Yes, there was a tree here and there but that came from a decision about landscape and was clearly related to architectural design.
That process led us to an additional purpose – to find architectural spaces that facilitate our improvisational activities.
And to create documentation of our improvisations in order to share our work with others whether or not an audience is present when we work.
And, now, creating such documentation has become part of the work itself.
Description of the Work
Working Sessions is an improvisational collaboration between Jeb Bishop (trombone) and Clyde Smith (dance). Each session is titled Working Sessions [at location or venue] and typically proceeds with the collaborators identifying appropriate found spaces, indoors or outdoors, in which to work. The process of finding spaces can be part of the performance or can be done prior to the performance. We begin improvising and work until we find an appropriate point to end. Sessions typically take from 10 to 20 minutes.
We can do three sets in sequence for an announced performance and are flexible about ambient performances in which we simply appear at loosely scheduled moments during a larger event such as an arts festival. We can also provide related classes in improvisation, composition and collaboration in music and dance for all levels from beginner to advanced.