…a forum for improvisers—novice, veteran; student, teacher; part- or full-timer; amateur, professional; local or visitor.
…a space in which improvisers of varying experience can meet, share, learn, and get to know one another.
…a safe, but public, platform for relative newcomers to improvisation to practice their craft.
…a place to hear music—to witness performance(s)—in progress and in process.
…a celebration of the practice of improvisation in all its diversity, complexity and, perhaps, contradictions.
…an environment in which (the practice of) music might mutate, diversify and hybridize.
…a curated jam session.
…a non-exclusive club.
…based in Cork, Ireland.
…affiliated with buster & friends’ d’da.
…a project originally launched in collaboration with the Cork Music Collective.
…necessarily a performance of free improvisation.
…of open improvisation.
…of non-idiomatic improvisation.
…of pan-idiomatic improvisation.
…of idiomatic improvisation.
…of the tradition.…
…of the blues.
(but it might/could/can be many of those things.)
…going to be perfect every time.
…an exclusive space for performers and practices already catered for by existing clubs, venues, festivals and concert series in Cork, Ireland.
To create a space for newcomers to improvised music to practice their craft.
To give an opportunity, during interactive, real-time performance with newcomers, for experienced improvisers to impart knowledge and guidance.
To bring improvisers from far afield (with different practices, musicalities and techniques) to interact, in performance, with local performers.
Note that every Lab is open to change; consider the following a guideline.
The featured artist(s) brings to this space the exciting possibility of hybridity in musical play. We (including all the performers) cannot expect to create a whole, unified, complete work that leaves existing practice unchanged (although change is never guaranteed). Correspondingly, the featured artist will have to accept that anyone sitting-in may bring with them very different sensibilities, styles, techniques, idioms, histories, politics or ideologies.
We welcome performers to sit-in with (or, through some alternative procedure decided on by (acting) curator and/or referee, interact with) the featured artist(s). No one is excluded (except perhaps the most demonstrably anti-social), but we welcome, in particular, newcomers to improvised music, novice performers, open-minded amateurs, and adventurous music students.
Performers sitting-in are responsible for their own equipment and instrument needs. Although amplification and sound-reinforcement (and, in some cases, instruments) may be available, we cannot guarantee it. Furthermore, no performer is ever required to share or lend out their instrument or equipment to another party. If someone shares or lends out their instrument or equipment to someone else, that is an agreement between those two parties, and Stet Lab cannot be responsible for, nor can it supervise, that arrangement.
The Stet Lab curator (or the evening’s acting curator) programs the featured artist and will decide on the procedure for inviting people to sit-in. (A referee may additionally be enrolled to carry out the changeover of personnel.) The (acting) curator will strive to be inclusive (we would like to give as many people as possible a chance to play), but is not compelled to let everyone play, nor in practice is this always possible.
The (acting) curator and the referee should do their best to avoid positioning themselves as the (primary) composer(s) or author(s) of the event. They are, in the loosest way, social engineers who should strive to be as hands-off as possible/practical.