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Taking the Dog for a Walk
Improvisation is an exciting but often misunderstood musical activity; a source and method at the same time. Free Improvisation in music is particularly challenging because it involves the creation of music in real time without any pre-defined limits of structure, order, aesthetics or genre. Free improvisers show themselves and the audience possibilities of future music through the discoveries of their own playing.
The hugely influential underground British free improvisation scene and the players working in it are the subject of Antoine Prum’s Taking The Dog For A Walk. The documentary takes a look at the early development of the scene in the 1960s and how those ideas and foundations have developed and changed through today. Extended excerpts of performances by many legendary musicians of this scene allow the viewer to get a sense of experiencing this music live. The film also features interviews with a few choice critics responsible for nurturing this scene, who provide a context for its origins. Prum's documentary touches upon aesthetic perspectives and personal histories through interviews with the musicians themselves, often interviewed by British comedian and free improvisation aficionado Stewart Lee. Taking The Dog For A Walk shows the tenacity they must have to make this music that is on the edge – aesthetically, socially, and financially. That the London-based free improvisation scene has survived and blossomed so long and continued to develop ground-breaking music without official recognition or regular continual cultural support attests to its vitality.
Born in Luxembourg in 1963, Antoine Prum is an artist and filmmaker living in Berlin. He was awarded Luxembourg’s 1990 Prix d’Encouragement aux Jeunes Artistes and received several grants. Since 1994, his installations have been displayed in numerous exhibitions in Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Japan, and Australia. In 2005, he participated in the Venice Biennale.