shackle |ˈ sh akəl|
1. used in reference to something that restrains or impedes.
2. a metal link, typically U-shaped, closed by a bolt, used to secure a chain or rope to something.
Old English of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schakel ’link, coupling’.
This extraordinarily inventive duo has a way of making music all their own. At the heart of their duo is a self-designed, cutting-edge digital cueing system which operates as a sometimes visible third member. Both prodding and reactive, the Shackle system suggests musical directions and textures to these two highly gifted performers, opening up a fascinating array of sonic choices for La Berge and Van Heumen to play with and against.
Improvisation and structure coincide effortlessly in Shackle’s music. Working with a computerized communication system that proposes various compositional elements to each player, they can then choose whether or not to cooperate with the proposed material. Proposals involve aspects of restriction, either in sound material, timing, dynamics or other musical parameters.
Shackle’s performances explode the line between improvisation without borders and tightly controlled forms that are both playful and daring. With uncanny transitions that turn on a dime and long, spun-out tapestries of sound, Shackle’s music works on two levels at once: full of delightful discoveries that can happen in the blink of an eye, La Berge and Van Heumen savor the possibilities that those discoveries offer up.
Shackle released the Shackle Stick in 2012.
“Shackle was a perfect, ‘nordic’ musical contrast. The duo mixed Anne La Berge`s delicately chosen, beautifully restraint articulations and timbres from across the flute family gamut, with Van Heumen`s live processing and interspersing of his trademark, hard edge, and quite unique brand of sample scratching. While I find the latter technique at times somewhat angular, it contrasted here extremely well with the mysterious shimmering quality of much of the music the duo knew to invent. Anne`s striking pose and Robert’s introvert concentration didn’t disguise the fact that they were constantly listening and finely tuned to one another.”
Daniel Schorno – review of the concert at STEIM
(images by Maarten van Rossem)
Converging Objects workshop
Shackle is also regularly teaching a set of workshops for:
- acoustic musicians who improvise and use live electronics in their own setups,
- those who play with other musicians using electronics, or
- electronic musicians who improvise and work with acoustic players.
More information here.