The Hafler Trio's Andrew McKenzie is hosting a week long group workshop this month (24–28 November). Strategies And Techniques Of The Creative Act will take place at Hackney's Apiary Studios where McKenzie will be teaching methods of intense concentration. Practically speaking, this means learning some of McKenzie's esoteric meditation techniques that utilise sound making and listening.
McKenzie has been developing his practices for decades, as far back as his early work as the sole permanent member of shifting group The Hafler Trio. The workshop's organiser, Supernatant Laboratories founder Wassim Alsindi, says the project involves integrating conventional thought processes with "non-traditional wisdom", gleaned from contact with various spiritual and religious bodies and doctrines, from Scientology to Zen, through the mystic George Gurdjieff and time McKenzie spent as a Sufi whirling dervish. Music's place in the workshop is as an entry point: "It is a coat-peg, and an excuse," explains McKenzie.
The workshops will take place in a group, and anyone attending has to be able to commit to the full five days. "With the way in which most technology has developed in the last 30-plus years, group focus is a rarity," says McKenzie. "Experiencing it – even for a few days – is a useful and significant addition of a perspective, I have found."
There is a durational performance at the close of the week, which begins at 6pm and runs for 14 hours. "There are destinations," says McKenzie, "but they will be arrived at via the necessary paths of the people taking part."
Watch a video about a Swedish version of the workshop below. Strategies And Techniques Of The Creative Act takes place at Hackney Apiary Studios, 24–28 November, 10am–4pm, £150. Those registering must be able to attend all five days. The performance will take place 29 November from 6pm for 14 hours and is free to enter. A brief discussion and workshop session will also take place the day before the workshop starts on 23 November, 7pm, £3. No musical training or prior experience is necessary. More details here.