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Frakture Concerts: 2007 An organisational review.

FRAKTURE promotes exciting and risk taking new music and performance within Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West region.

FRAKTURE aims to-

  • Provide and develop opportunities for local and regionally based experimental and improvising musicians to present their work
  • Promote the culture of, and raise the profile of, experimental music activity within Merseyside, regionally and nationally

FRAKTURE works towards these aims through-

  • Promoting new music performance events
  • Organising collaborative projects between local and visiting artists
  • Delivering workshops in experimental music making
  • Running a web-site and a cd label
  • Offering support and information services.

History of Frakture and 2007 review.

Frakture was established in 1997 by a group of musicians in Liverpool interested in free improvised and experimental music. Initially its activities focused on a forum for discussion, open improvisation sessions and small scale performances. From this grew the Frakture Big Band, a semi-permanent ensemble exploring large scale improvisation.

The next stage of Frakture’s development was the establishment of an annual festival of improvised music and a regular series of concerts throughout the year. These promotional activities have brought a regular stream of national and internationally significant improvising and experimental artists to Merseyside.

Frakture concert promotions and festival were hosted by Bluecoat Arts Centre, between 1998-2004. The Bluecoat closed for refurbishment between 2004-08 and Frakture has delivered its content using a variety of venues, whilst also expanding a range of other activities. The Bluecoat has now re-opened having spent £12 million pound , Frakture and the Bluecoat events team have already collaborated since it re-opening and the relationship looks good. Both organisation have developed significantly during the Bluecoat’s closure and Frakture is confident this will have a qualitative impact on our co-promotions.

It is a strength of Frakture that it is led by a group of practicing improvising musicians who have a detailed knowledge of the genre and the wider context of contemporary experimental music. It actively pursues its own artistic agenda whilst promoting and supporting a wide range of new musics.

From this position of artistic strength, commitment and integrity, Frakture has generated, in the 10 years of its existence an extraordinary and diverse range of exciting, high quality, risk-taking new music activity, and is now recognised as a nationally significant promoter and a regionally important agency for new music.

The validity and importance of this work is reflected both by the participant base that has been developed, and the status accorded to Frakture within the wider context of the national and international ‘free improvisation’ scene.

Summary of Activities in 2007:

  • Workshops x 28,
  • Rehearsal x 4;
  • Soundwalk x 2;
  • Frakture Concerts x 6;
  • Splash Gigs x 5;
  • Festival Concerts x 5;
  • 3rd Party Concerts x 2;
  • Listening Room events x 6;
  • 3rd Party Workshops 8
International Musicians who visited Frakture during 2007

Paal Nilssen-Love , Øyvind Storesund, Pal Pettersen, Frode Gjerstad, (All Norway) Will Guthrie (aus), Sarah Murphy (usa), Jack Wright (usa), Grundik Kasyansky (IS), Charles Gayle (usa), Willian Parker (usa), Damo Suzuki (JP)

National who visited Frakture during 2007

John Jasnoch, Rob Dainton, Lol Coxhill, Simon Rose, Stephen Grew, Mark Sanders, Roger Turner, Dom Lash, Steve Lewis, Graham Clarke, Semay Wu, Beth Allen, Patrick Farmer, Shaun Blezzard, Keith Jafrate, Phil Wachsmann, Bruno Guastalla,

Locally sixty artists participated in Frakture public performances and workshops. ,

Highlights: 2007

  • The re-emergence of the Frakture Big Band and performance with Damo Suzuki.
  • Collaboration with More Music on the Long Walk project.
  • Theda: Frakture was commissioned by the A;Foundation to provide a sound track to the silent movie THEDA
  • Performances by Frode Gjerstad & Charles Gayle trios.
  • The I:Object series of concerts for the Listening Room
  • People with instruments: a special one-day workshop in Manchester including musicians with disabilities.
  • Four Candles & Deep Cabaret, a special mix of voices & string quartet.
  • Select and private moment s during Snap & vocal play workshops.

Threads of work

  • The Frakture Big Band; after a very successful first six years 1998-2004 this ensembles was developing issues that needed resolving. It’s aim, the exploring of free improvisation in a large ensemble format was compromised by the wide variety of expectations of the musicians. Following a review period the FBB was successfully as a project ensemble that re-invents itself and its membership every time it comes to life. To date this managed different expectations and the performances are well received.
  • Thread:There is a clear thread in our work running from introductory workshops (SNAP), informal gigs (Splash) to Club Gigs (Frakass) and a formal qualitative concert experience within the Frakture Concerts/Bluecoat partnership. Frakture has also launched a CD label with three CDs in its catalogues.
  • Recently Frakture commissioned Maggie Nicols to deliver from a “Whisper to a response” with the Whispering Choir in a whispering gallery. During the 2008/09 periods Frakture will look to develop or commission specific pieces of work.
  • Festival. Frakture has dropped the classic “Festival” format and is replacing it with: providing content within Festivals of other disciplines e.g. Dance, Poetry. Edgy, a special multi discipline festival in collaboration with The Bluecoat.


  • Frakture uses mainly digital electronic promotion techniques, internet, email newsletters etc. RSS and podcasts are being researched. Frakture also exploits the recent advent of social networking via myspace through its own myspace site.
  • Posters, flyers, and seasonal programmes are printed and distributed.
  • Frakass: the establishment of a fixed night scheduled event e.g. last Sunday of the month we believe will be an asset with regard to audience development.
  • Our collaborative partnership with The Bluecoat, newly re-opened within a Capital of Culture framework will bring marketing benefits.
  • The Liverpool Capital of Culture marketing department supports Frakture events.

How we choose content

  • The Frakture Concerts Team chose and plan the content for public performances. Frakture mainly selects from artists who approach Frakture with proposals. This is facilitated by a on-line form within our web site. We also directly approach artists too. Two directors and a steering group also review the full range of Frakture activities.

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