I draw from the personal and the universal which holds everything we need for spontaneous and structured performance and composition.
The challenge is what to express from this infinite resource. As a beginner in the late 'sixties, I practised different approaches
to this creative challenge, including beautifully designed pieces by John Stevens which led to a coherent language of individual
and collective liberation and almost telepathic interaction, to just improvising freely and experiencing joy, frustration,
confusion and clarity, depending on who I was playing with or how trusting or not I was of myself, others and the process
of improvisation itself. I found my background in dance and theatre; my political awakening, motherhood; all of these and
more, becoming a part of my ongoing love affair with improvisation. When I went through a period of late nights and drinking
and smoking too much and my singing voice suffered, I developed a strange kind of stand up improvised philosophising and comedy.
Over the years these, and other approaches have been developed, fine tuned, contrasted and integrated into my performances
There are three low resolution MP3s from the 2nd CD by Les Diaboliques, "Splitting Image" available on this page. Just
click on the links opposite to hear them.
Les Diaboliques CD albums are available from Intakt Records and from this
Les Diaboliques are:-
Irène Schweizer, piano; Joëlle Léandre, bass; Maggie Nicols, voice.
2. Uncle Peter (01.48)
3. The whole world (02.42)
4. Bring out your dead (01.07)
5. Molto strano
6. Stevens' game (04.01)
7. In a balladesque mood (04.13)
8. Splitting image (02.03)
9. Two waves
10. Silly boy (03.57)
11. Who is Adam? (06.08)
12. The very last tango (02.36)
13. Little Nicols (02.23)
14. Infinite diversity (05.10)
15. Quifecit (04.35)
16. Valse diabolique II (02.07)
Recorded at Rote Fabrik
Zürich on 7 and 8 November 1994.
Cover art (reproduced above) by Rosina Kuhn.
|Les Diaboliques Concert 30/12/97
|Copyright Photo by BMW AG
|Les Diaboliques ii - Splitting Image
Valse Diaboliques ii
" .... Nicols' nearly wordless vocals laid out an endless variety of potential scenarios: we "saw" the ragged immigrant
child huddled in a doorway: a team of sturdy horses pulling sleighs through the streets of a dark and deserted Central European
city: the wind, full of sand, whistling around a desert caravan........Sliding in and out of language, keeping us in stiches
one minute, on the edge of our chairs the next, she performed with a deep concentration leavened by an extremely giddy and
eccentric sense of humour. At time she transformed herself into a stand up philosopher........ She sang beautifully,sometimes
evoking Bulgarian, Arabic or Indian vocal styles, but mainly sounding like Maggie Nicols, world citizen." Alex Varty. Review
Vancouver Jazz Festival