Principle Shifts

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20 years of twists and turns in Ambient Jam with Peri Mackintosh

Every life is a piece of art, put together with all means available. Pierre Janet

Music is so much less than what you are. Mike Heron


In over twenty years of doing Ambient Jam, I have taken a number of approaches to it. Here is a timeline of some of those approaches.

Channeling – the medium is the massage

Touch. To me to you. Skin and bone, broad-banding a superhighway of nuance. Our interiors in very private dialogue.
It seems.

Make it big

Micro movement. Muted murmur. I relay. I amplify. I enlarge the gesture, shout what was whispered. So that the room will know.
But who will care?

Making a drama

Shying from this intense actuality, I enrol in high drama.I bluster into make believe.A show time bonanza. A whirl of ritual, buto, camp opera, performance art. Flash fun.
Is anyone left behind?

Keeping in the loop

The swarm principle.Let’s stay together. My task? Be the link Be the binding between us all.
Us all?

Another planet

Training task – facilitator become participant.Shock. Seeing the irrelevance of my practice, my solipsistic fire heaped over the mute participant. My whirling whirring’s irrespective of their perspective.

Slammed my face in the balance of power.
Was this hidden or did I look the other way? 

  • Is art relevant to participants?
  • Do they want to belong?
  • Do they need to please?

Don’t get in the way

“being in a place she can be herself”, her mother said. “That is the best thing.”
Is this about space for agency?


the capacity of

  • individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices
  • an actor to act in a given environment.


Joe Boyd the producer says you can always add material, but remember, everything you add in some way masks what was originally there.
For a participant to be heard, to be seen….

Can I be quieter, listen, pay attention?


Two participants find each other.

They go.

Where they will…