Anne La Berge & Robert Van Heumen – Shackle


USB Stick + Card Game – Shackle

Anne La Berge is a talented flautist and free-form experimenter, Robert van Heumen a skilled laptop producer and performer (we remember him for his releases on Creative Sources and Evil Rabbit). Together they have given life to Shackle, an electro-acoustic improvisation project and multiplayer music game presented in an unusual form. The intriguing setup consists of a pack of cards that designate musical role-plays and a wooden USB key, protected by two small magnetic clips. In live executions of Shackle there can be both professional musicians and casual participants. The various games determine the style of the passages played, with musical direction and textures suggested by the interchanging cards. Free improvisation and structured composition are combined effortlessly thanks to a digital communication system that presents individual players with the relevant parameters – timing, dynamics, mood, texture, etc. – in a limitless but controlled improvisation. There is an intimate integration between technology and acoustic instruments here, and the duo often use hybrid instruments and self-fabricated electronic controllers in their performances. The recurring element is a singular desire to find inspiration at the juncture of hardware and software interfaces, analogue and digital sound sources, communication codes and musical languages. Aurelio Cianciotta

Shackle session at STEIM