COVID-19: what you need to do (?) April 2020

This is a series of short freely improvised pieces by [the gathering…the chewing] – improvising duo Geoff Bright and Gillan Whiteley – recorded under ‘lockdown’ conditions on Monday 27 April  2020 . We are struck by disturbing similarities between policy responses to 1970s government recommendations  in the event of a ‘nuclear attack and, recently, Covid-19.  Both Protect and Survive and current government advice such as Protect Yourself and Loved Ones constructed war and viral contagion as a response to an ‘enemy’ – thus completely occluding capitalism’s  responsibility for the evermore ecologically degrading effects of globalised consumption – its harnessing of ‘forces of destruction’, as it might be said. Both responses also centralised capitalism’s increasingly irrelevant nuclear family unit as the locus of meaningful  ‘survival’. Neither of these constructions are self-evident and we refuse to assent to their logic. Indeed, in conditions of global ecological crisis, it is  ludicrous. To that end, this project develops our focus on a politicised improvisative practice that we are calling sonus inter/alter – a kind of ‘sounding between/against’ that draws on the legacy of Italian autonomism, other dissident Marxisms and the work of Deleuze and Guattari.

Stay safe and follow the advice                                                                              voices  2.13 mins

Test track trace                                                                                                             voices, violin, soprano sax, percussion   3.11 mins

Extremely vulnerable people (shielding)                                                             violin, tenor sax, whistles, calls, novelty instruments  3.50 mins

A new continuous cough                                                                                          voices, violin   3.38 mins

All titles taken from Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice pages at

Image from Protect and Survive pamphlet prepared for Home Office by Central Office for Information HMSO 1976