Whiggly Ensemble

JUSTIN CHRISTENSEN, trumpet, ocarina & multimedia
EUGENE FEYGELSON, violin, voice & multimedia
STEVE POTTER, piano, accordion, voice & multimedia
FEDERICO REUBEN, electronics & multimedia
+ KÉLINA GOTMAN (associate artist), timekeeper, lecturer, translator

Formed in 2011 in a basement in Brockley (London), Whiggly is a group of four composer-performers specializing in contemporary improvisation, utilizing multimedia in their work as well as interactive scenarios, participatory events, and self-critique.

‘Whiggly’ invokes the historical American political party, the Whigs, whose early demise in the 1860s has given us the opportunity to imagine endless possible developments of the party in the 20th, 21st and (hey, why not) 22nd centuries. ‘Whig’ was a term used by American Revolution-era patriots to refer to themselves, to signal hostility to the King. At the same time Whiggly nods towards kinetic activity (wiggly), as well as towards evasive modes of being (wriggly) and silly costume (wigs).

The group’s inaugural project was framed as a set of children’s activities for grown-ups, including sing-alongs tinged with Guy Debord theory; a puppet show and a love song delivered karaoke-style imagining an encounter between Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln; craft-making; group dance activity; a fashion parade; and communal cooking. Guest personas included The Speaking Piano HBotST2, the Immigrant Waiter, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Steve Jobs, Kafka’s representatives of the Law, and The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.

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