Shackle is Anne LaBerge on flute and electronics and Deckard on laptop-instrument. Their aim is to explicitly and subtly exploit shackling in both concept and material.
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 Deckard 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 Deckard savor the possibilities that those discoveries offer up.
Shackle will be joined for this performance by Alex Christie, a San Francisco Bay Area composer, performer, improviser, and educator working in the worlds of both acoustic and electronic music. His work is the hybridization of hyper-intellectualized contemporary music theory and a childish obsession with explosive sound and bright, flashing lights. Alex holds a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory in Composition and TIMARA (Technology In Music And Related Arts) and an MFA from Mills College in Electronic Music and Recording Media.
Alex performs as a laptopist in several veins of music, ranging from experimental improvisatory noise to electronic dance. He performs free jazz and freely improvised music as a saxophonist and is always striving to find new ways in which the world of electronic music and free improvisation intersect.
As an educator, Alex currently teaches composition, electronic music, improvisation, and music theory at Santa Clara University and spends his summers teaching similar material to a group of talented 9-18 year-olds at the Walden School’s Young Musicians Program.
Shackle is online at shackle.eu.