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Alchemy/Schmalchemy - Geoff Bright, Walt Shaw and Gillian Whiteley - operate with a set of practices and activities which play with the idea of alchemy and - consciously parodying notions of authenticity and artifice - schmalchemy. The punning title – Alchemy/Schmalchemy – delineates a disruptive oscillatory space of mischief in which the live performance operates.


TUESDAY 5pm 6th July 2015
Manifestation V
Provocations, Improvisations: Encounters between Art, Sciences & Qualitative Research
Summer Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University

SATURDAY 9pm 6th December 2013
Manifestation IV
Showroom, Sheffield

SATURDAY 3pm 13th May 2013
Manifestation III
New Bradford Playhouse, Bradford

SATURDAY 3pm 24th November 2012
Manifestation II
Fabric, Bradford

SATURDAY 8pm 28th JULY 2012
Manifestation I
Bank Street Arts, Sheffield

The physical act of transforming lead to gold acts as a metaphor for transforming our mundane level of consciousness to a more enlightened level where magical serendipities and ‘collisions’ are able to occur spontaneously and frequently. Music and sounds are fundamental in creating the transformative environment, with not only a powerful catalytic effect on the whole process, but also providing a crucial driving energy behind the collaboration’s ‘alchemy’.

The group uses scientific apparatus and they adorn spaces with a range of objects and materials - bottles, coloured liquids, microscopes, pipes, mirrors, projections, from antique projection apparatus, pendulums etc. Acoustic musical instruments are combined with ramshackle low-tech sound-producing equipment: this might include an ancient harmonium (pedal-driven), an old mechanical gramophone alongside low-tech electronics. Soundworks produced have an emphasis on intensity, through highly focused and energised intention, which can build to quite ‘electrical’ levels and then in an instant dissipate, to be built up again in repeated cycles.