Hand in hand with an interest in aleatoric, intuitive, automatic, and ludic processes, improvisation has always played a significant role in Songs of the New Erotics performances. This improvisation however, usually takes place within fairly structured pieces involving costumes, props, actions, sounds, backing tapes, etc. which have been developed and worked out ahead of time. In this manner of working, improvisation does not greatly affect the overall structure and intent of the piece.
In contrast, since 2001 Davison has embarked on an ongoing series of Songs of the New Erotics performances that are focused purely on improvisation. In these improvised performances, no major aspects of the work are planned ahead of time. Employing an extreme economy of means and an “out on a limb” experimentalism, the performer enters a largely uncontrolled, and sometimes unfamiliar, environment armed only with a few simple props/objects/costumes, usually found on site or purchased at local discount stores, junk shops, and the like. All actions/interactions then arise purely from the specific circumstances of the physical space, audience, ambient sounds, accidents, etc. In this way, improvisation is allowed to generate the form, character and meaning of each piece. Songs of the New Erotics will present a one-hour improvisation for audience and video.
Toronto-based polymedia artist W.A.Davison has been engaged in the production of music, film, performance, writing, and visual art since the early 80’s. He attending the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and studied experimental music at Dalhousie University. Since 1993, he has been presenting works of performance art under the name Songs of the New Erotics. His work has been funded at the national level, discussed in recent academic essays, and featured on radio, television, and print media across Canada and abroad.
The Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art
The Canadian Art Database: Canadian Artist Files