Ptarmigan is no longer operating in Helsinki.

Ptarmigan existed as a project space in Vallila from 2009-2011 and a mobile curatorial/creative platform until 2014. We no longer exist as an organised collective, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced as/at Ptarmigan during these years.

Improvisation and Concrete Composition Workshop
07 января 2010, 00:00

This workshop runs from 14:00 til 17:00, with the concert to follow in the evening at 20:00.

presented by Anla Courtis

The main aim of this project is to develop new ways of musical expression for arts students. Sessions focus on music practice —rather than on theory— so that the workshop requires active and constant involvement by participants, whose abilities and interests represent a key target of our attention. Is important to take in consideration, that there is no needing of any previous musical training to be able do this workshop.

From our point of view, there is an experiential side in the relationship with music, a side that lies beyond any theory or rational consideration and offers  a unique way to reach the musical process. Throughout the many years we have been teaching music we have come to realize that if we focus on this experiential aspect of music new horizons for music learning start to appear. The experiential aspect of music is open to any person, that’s  why our approach is oriented to develop all the possibilities of this connection, and improvisation takes a very important role here.

In other sense, concrete composition consists in a way of music composition that doesn’t require any knowledge about music notation or theory. Concrete composition is based on sound, and it works organizing the improvisation performance. This approach encourages the invention of creative and non-traditional ways of scores for the compositions. Additionally, although sessions center mostly around work with music, concrete composition could include other art forms such as visual arts, dance and poetry.

The specific goals of our work are:

•    To introduce students to improvised music performance
•    To develop the relationship between sound & music
•    To improve creative ways of listening
•    To explore the sonic possibilities of different objects and instruments
•    To work with rhythm concepts through exercises
•    To promote the exploration of vocal possibilities
•    To create connections between music and other artistic disciplines
•    To foster group interaction through collective musical performance
•    To encourage concrete composition and creative processes
•    To offer students a chance to present the results of  their work  to their community of reference,. as mean  as a  true way of communication.

The workshop will be conducted by Alan Courtis, who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and have been teaching music since 1993. He was founder member of Reynols, a group with more than 100 releases on labels from USA, Europe, Japan & NZ, including conceptual projects like: "10.000 Chicken Symphony", "Blank Tapes", "Whistling Kettle Quartet", etc. He has also released many solo releases and collaborations in labels like: Tonschacht (Germany), Blossoming Noise (USA), Pogus (USA), Slottet (Sweden), Xerxes (Japan), Antifrost (Greece), RRR (USA), Celebrate Psi Phenomenon (New Zealand), Smittekilde (Denmark), Public Eyesore (USA), Beta-Lactam Ring Records (USA), 267 Lattajjaa (Finland), Jewelled Antler (USA), Riot Season (UK), Prele (France), C.U.E. (Japan), Freedom From (USA), Ultra (Russia), Matching Head (UK), Monopolka (Russia), Sedimental (USA), Alt Vinyl (UK), Ikuuisus (Finland), Hebal (Malaysia), Quasipop (Ukraine), 8mm (Italy), Chocolate Monk (UK), Kningdisc (Sweden), Monopolka (Russia), Audiobot (Belgium), PseudoArcana (New Zealand), Komkol Autoprod (Norway), etc. He has toured extensively in USA, Japan, Europe & SouthAmerica and also collaborated with maverick artists like: Pauline Oliveros, The Nihilist Spasm Band, Lee Ranaldo, Eddie Prevost (AMM), Damo Suzuki (Can),Lasse Marhaug, John Oswald, KK Null, Sir Rick Bishop (Sun City Girls), Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple),Toshimaru Nakamura, Masonna, Solid Eye (L.A.F.M.S.), Tetuzi Akiyama, Tastuya Yoshida (Ruins), RLW, Ashtray Navigations, Axel Dörner, Armpit, Alan Licht, Kohuei Matsunaga, Francisco Lopez, Zbigniew Karkowski,  Michael Snow, Paul Dutton, Birchville Cat Motel, Ilios, Culver, The Moglass, Dan Warburton, MSBR, Tom Carter (Charalmbides), Andrey Kiritchenko, Jazzkammer, Jason Kahn, Bill Horist, Dylan Nyoukis, Tore H. Boe, TV Pow, Stylluppsteypa, etc.

Alan Courtis holds a degree Communication Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, where he runs an annual music workshop. He currently works as a music professor at the Fundacion Artistas Discapacitados, UNSAM (National University of San Martin), Cherry Breitman Foundation, Asociación Argentina de Síndrome de Williams and. He has also conducted workshops at the following institutions:  in the United States: The Briarwood School, The Monarch School; Deep Listening Space, M.E.C.A., Sheltering Arms Day Center; and at the Emerging Arts Program of the Oberlin University. in Europe: Oslo College University (Norway) Kulturhuset Stockholm (Sweden), Tveiteras Skole (Norway), The Sage Gateshead (England), Musik I Väst (Sweden), Loddefjord Musikksenter (Norway), Louvain-La-Neuve Université (Belgium), Kulturbunker-Muelheim (Germany), Sinfonia Center (England) & Gallerie du Soleil (Switzerland), Aktivitetshuset Stopeskjeen (Norway). In Argentina he has worked with the following institutions: UBA (University of Buenos Aires), ASDRA, Fundación Artistas Discapacitados,  Efimus Academy, Fundacion Sonia Lopez, Escuela Especial Nº1 “Alfonsina Storni,” CAMI, Escuela Especial Nº9, Instituto Aleteia Sud, Escuela Especial Nº 36, and in Lima-Peru with: SPSD.