shackle |ˈ sh akəl|
1. used in reference to something that restrains or impedes.
2. a metal link, typically U-shaped, closed by a bolt, used to secure a chain or rope to something.
ORIGIN Old English of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schakel ‘link, coupling’.
Shackle is Anne La Berge on flute & electronics and Robert van Heumen on laptop-instrument. Their aim is to explicitly and subtly exploit shackling in both concept and material.
This extraordinarily inventive duo has a way of making music all their own. At the heart of their duo is a self-designed, cutting-edge digital cueing system which operates as a sometimes visible third member. Both prodding and reactive, the Shackle system suggests musical directions and textures to these two highly gifted performers, opening up a fascinating array of sonic choices for La Berge and van Heumen to play with and against.
Improvisation and structure coincide effortlessly in Shackle’s music. Working with a computerized communication system that proposes various compositional elements to each player, they can then choose whether or not to cooperate with the proposed material.
Proposals involve aspects of restriction, either in sound material, timing, dynamics or other musical parameters.
Shackle’s performances explode the line between improvisation without borders and tightly controlled forms that are both playful and daring. With uncanny transitions that turn on a dime and long, spun-out tapestries of sound, Shackle’s music works on two levels at once: full of delightful discoveries that can happen in the blink of an eye, La Berge and van Heumen savor the possibilities that those discoveries offer up.