The Moving Orchestra
Learning from freeform improvisation practices in New York City as well as practices by groups such as the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), our practice investigates interdisciplinary improvisation. As our society faces greater division, we respond with a practice facilitating artists of different backgrounds not just to collaborate, but to improvise freely with each other, telling audiences the stories of our current time. As we workshop improvisation with a constantly growing, diverse number of artists, we gain further perspective on the essence of collective improvisation. We create performance experiences from artistic expression that derives from and highlights the way we as people interact with each other, thus bringing the audience and the performers together in an intimate collaboration. This combination allows us to create an experience for the audience that constantly transforms, resonating with their immediate context.
Sparked by informal jam sessions in living spaces, The Moving Orchestra is an eclectic mix of musicians, dancers, actors, and visual artists from all backgrounds in New York City. The ensemble specializes in workshopping programs heavily based on improvisation, featuring 3 - 10 performers made up of recurring and new artists. The programs are developed utilizing the skills and personalities of each performing group as well as the possibilities of each venue. TMO has performed in prominent venues as well as unconventional places such as St. John's in the Village, Arts on Site, SLEEPCENTER, Playwrights Downtown, Massawa, and a private house in West Village. In 2020, they produced a weekly series of online concerts called the "Zoom Jam Series" as well as a three-day online festival celebrating the anniversary of its inception.
TMO's inception began at the very end of the summer of 2019, when six musicians came together for a friendly jam session in pianist Joey Chang's living room. He and violinist Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim, with the help of dancers Carol Chave and Thomas A. Woodman, began workshopping ways to produce engaging group improvisation performances. Using a larger living space as a stepping stone, the ensemble started a monthly performance series, in unusual venues throughout New York City.
The ensemble is named "Moving" in reference to its performers moving as well as its programs being held in different venues, and "Orchestra" because of its multidisciplinary artists coming together as one.