The Pie is Done

The original Feminist Improvising Group was a 5-8 person ensemble, founded in 1977 by Scottish vocalist Maggie Nicols and English bassoonist-composer Lindsay Cooper. They were the first ensemble of female improvisers who performed publicly; they toured under this name until 1983, when the group evolved into the European Women’s Improvising Group. While their initial intent was apolitical, the group developed an interest exploring social commentary and political parody and farce, and in challenging taboos on-stage. - Elizabeth McNutt  

Review excerpts from Jan 19 concert:  

From Theater Jones

Sounds Modern is known for its whimsical approach to music and musicianship, and this concert was no exception. Both Elizabeth Brown’s Brown, Party of Two for flute (McNutt) and viola (Mike Capone) and The Pie Is Done, written and performed by the Texas Feminist Improvising Group, used unconventional “instruments” such as kitchen bowls, a coffee grinder, hair dryers, and assorted other implements of traditional femininity. Both the written piece and the improvisatory one raise questions about gender roles and expectations. (Can a person play the cello and vacuum at the same time? Yes, apparently, cellist Kourtney [Newton] can. But can she do them simultaneously and well? Not really, unless all you want to hear are open strings—perhaps reinforcing that we can do it all, sure, but maybe not all at once.)  

From D Magazine 

A tribute to the Women’s Improvising Group, the first group of female improvisers active in Europe in the 1970s and ‘80s, also trod the uncomfortable line between art and mundane domestic activities, as Saturday’s group of five female performers attempted to improvise on their respective instruments while operating household appliances, applying makeup, or discussing their evening plans.

The Pie is Done

SoundsModern, Ft. Worth, TX

January 19, 2019

 

Beauty Sleep

NMASS, Austin, TX

July 7, 2019