HAPPENSTANCE, a sprawling jazz-concrète project produced by Johannesburg composer and double bass player Shane Cooper. Approached in 2020 by interdisciplinary arts space The Centre For The Less Good Idea to create audio work, Cooper drew on his network in the thriving South African jazz scene, bringing in Bokani Dyer (piano), Cara Stacey (bows), Daliwonga Tshangela (cello), Gontse Makhene (percussion), Jonno Sweetman (percussion) and Micca Manganye (percussion).
Two days of free-flowing composition, improvisation and investigative recording followed, with the results captured on a vintage reel-to-reel tape machine. This tape was fractured and reassembled by Cooper, bringing into surreal focus tiny ecosystems of sound, like curls of static clasped from the air and brought under the magnifying glass. The results – two long, standalone pieces – are dizzying, weightless; musique concrète melding with jazz-schooled virtuosity in a dubbed out bricolage of interludes and u-turns.
Recommended for fans of Abdullah Ibrahim, Steve Reich, Annabel Lee, Cicada.