The Lockdown Jams / Bastard Assignments


16th June 2020

We start with excitement to write along playfully.

As composer-performers, bastard assignments met in 2012 forming up a group creating their own work and performing it themselves. Rooting in the sphere of London’s experimental music and performance scene, they have been developing work for each other continuously and pulled together their practices. The composer-performer blurs the boundaries of an artistic performer and the score writing mind behind a musical idea. Being creator and performer at the same time is an investigation into a practice, developing skills, unlearning skills, sharpening interests and exploring the very own capacity of doing music overall. Taking this mindset, Bastard Assignments found their own way to continue working together during the lockdown due to COVID-19 crisis. They developed the idea of lockdown sessions. 

In their lockdown sessions the four members of Bastard Assignments teamed up to deal with this extraordinary situation from their individual homes by investigating strategies of working together via online communication platforms such as Zoom. They could win various composers to enter their project and commissioned pieces to be performed and recorded via Zoom. The compositions are mostly developed together with Bastard Assignments and a result of a preceding online rehearsal.


22th June 2020

a stairwell standing walk___down stairs ratzisch

fingers crossed we _______//

/______    _________ walk

24th June 2020 


Going Browsing, Idling, Investigating, Dreaming

A splintered set of sensual experiences, being walked towards an google street view idea of Wales. Let’s go and detangle from our bodies, and take-make our up a wholesome sensation. How can we extend our nature, can we recreate, can we relate? 

A talking TTS disposition navigates as an inner voice through the mildly distorted google street view of Wales, while we can listen to our ears dreaming into a vivid gluping, gurgling waterscape, circades chirp and clitter, soft sounds make up the ulterior realization that reality becomes a game. Browsing, Idling, Investigating, Dreaming examines in disturbingly beautiful pictures of sound and glitched landmarks the reality we lose while being locked up. It becomes an example for the way we deal with nature. It asks in which moment our experience of nature will turn over into a peerlessly perfect copy, that does not only approximate nature but devours it. Maybe one day we will walk as that disembodied shadow through a blueprint of nature, never stop walking and we are calling solely for that body, severed form a sensory experience. And the archive created from records of nature will be the basis to program new dreams and realities, artificially living on. 


Moira keeps asking

I want to be a body again

and run into a lot of thorns 

I am sure I could run again 

spotting two roots, freeze for them 

to engage beyond

do you remember a broken Wales summer

summer forgotten 

You are a special garden 

there is no way, no way into no way land. no in / out no


3rd July 2020 


Rehearsal Zoom session with Elaine Mitchener 

Reading the headlines of a newspaper, incorporating words and Bastard Assignments learn to let go. That is the over and over repeating task, learning to let go. With Elaine Mitchener learning how to deactivate and become the object, letting go. It is an investigation into the vibrating air that gives birth to a sound, that declares movement trembling the circumbiant air to the instrument. It searches for the energy that is in a place where there isn’t a traceable sound. Before a word … there was? It is an invitation to think the body movement musically and find happy accidents, spontaneous actions that come from a place of letting go. The rehearsal becomes a small taste of having no freedom and embodying freedom. 


10th July 2020 

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Find the whole pack of videos on http://bastardassignments.com/work/lockdown-jams/

Raphael Jacobs
Raphael Jacobs is a writer and installation artist based in Antwerp and Berlin. In interdisciplinary settings he combines disciplines such as music, language and design.