Autore in Onda


Chain Reactions

Instigated by Caroline Kraabel for the London Improvisers Orchestra, 7 June 2020.

The London Improvisers Orchestra has been playing live large group improvised music on the first Sunday of each month since 1998. In those more than 21 years, lack of funds has never stopped us, and the closure (because of high rents, rates, gentrification, audiences priced out) of so many of London's venues for interesting music hasn't stopped us either. But the novel coronavirus pandemic made it essential that we cease live performance in order to protect each other: audiences, musicians, promoters, venue staff, London public transport users and staff, and the families of all these people. Like (most!) other Londoners, we've been staying apart for the sake of all of London.

This is our third month of not performing live. Instead we've been making improvisations remotely, digitally – mostly as individuals (except where two or more LIO members live in the same household), but together in spirit and listening, from London to Wales to Baltimore... and beyond.

Chain Reactions is a sparse initial recording by Caroline Kraabel, and instructions asking LIO musicians to record themselves playing with it and then send this on to another player. In the space of just a month, the ramifications have become as convoluted as those of an ancient tree. The piece might also have been called Contagion, or Nail Soup... but what's important is the co-operation, exploration, discovery and generosity of these isolated musicians reaching out to each other and to our listeners! 
released June 7, 2020

8. ChRe_Kraabel_Benford_Vishnick_Shapiro
Caroline Kraabel alto sax
Douglas Benford melodica
Martin Vishnick guitar
Emily Shapiro clarinet


Khabat Abas cello
Susan Alcorn pedal steel guitar
Stephen Barrett clarinet, a box of springs with disconnected clock chimes
Douglas Benford melodica
Steve Beresford slightly prepared piano
Adam Bohman objects, voice
Georgina Brett oboe
Laura Cioffi flute
Martin Clarke alto sax
John Edwards double bass
Julian Faultless french horn
Sue Ferrar violin
Dave Fowler drums
Martin Hackett synth
Chris Hill objects, keyboard, guitar
Charlotte Hug viola, voice
Robert Jarvis trombone
Ivor Kallin violin
Emil Karlsen percussion
Charlotte Keefe trumpet
Gero Kempf double bass
Caroline Kraabel alto sax, voice
Tracy Lisk percussion
Sue Lynch tenor sax clarinet
Valentina Magaletti percussion
Marcello Magliocchi percussion
Hannah Marshall cello
Neil Metcalfe flute
Maggie Nicols voice
Adrian Northover soprano sax
Emily Shapiro clarinet
Loz Speyer trumpet
Sebastian Sterkowicz guitar clarinet
Martin Vishnick guitar
Reed Warblers voices
Veryan Weston piano
Jerry Wigens mandolin guitar
Pei Ann Yeoh violin
Theos Ziarkis double bass

Root system photos by Régine Edwards
Conceived by Caroline Kraabel.
Compiled by Adrian Northoverù
The London Improvisers Orchestra is dedicated to free and conducted improvisation.
It draws on a large and shifting pool of improvising musicians from London and beyond,
and plays in London monthly, generally on the first Sunday of the month.