Sunday 27 May 2018, 2pm
CONCERT 1 (2pm) explores Pauline Oliveros’ approach to ‘deep listening’ wth drone-based improvised music performed by Rhodri Davies, Phil Durrant, Bill Thompson and Mark Wastell.
Curated by Contakt
Supported by PRS Foundation, Arts Council of England and Ambache Charitable Trust.
PAULINE OLIVEROS (1932 – 2016) was an American composer and accordionist. She was a central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic music. She was a founding member of the San Francisco Tape Music Centre in the 1960s, and served as its director. She taught music at Mills College, the University of California San Diego, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Oliveros authored books, formulated new music theories, and investigated new ways to focus attention on music including her concepts of "deep listening" and "sonic awareness”. In 1988, as a result of descending 14 feet into an underground cistern to make a recording, Oliveros coined the term "deep listening”, a pun that has blossomed into an aesthetic based upon principles of improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation. This aesthetic is designed to inspire both trained and untrained performers to practice the art of listening and responding to environmental conditions in solo and ensemble situations.
Rhodri Davies is immersed in the worlds of improvisation, musical experimentation, composition and contemporary classical performance. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice, dry ice and fire harp installations and has released six solo albums. His regular groups include: HEN OGLEDD, Cranc, Common Objects and a duo with John Butcher. He has worked with the following artists: David Sylvian, Jenny Hval, Derek Bailey, Sofia Jernberg, Lina Lapelyte, Pat Thomas, Simon H Fell and Will Gaines.
For the last ten years Davies has been closely associated with the pioneering composer Eliane Radigue performing seventeen of her pieces. She composed OCCAM I for Davies in 2011, the first in an ongoing series of solo and ensemble pieces for individual instrumentalists in which a performer’s personal performance technique and particular relationship to their instrument function as the compositional material of the piece. New pieces for solo harp have also been composed for him by: Christian Wolff, Carole Finer, Philip Corner, Phill Niblock, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone.
In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on ‘Self-cancellation’, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award, he was a Chapter Associate Artist (2016-19) and in 2017 he received a Creative Wales Award. He is a co-organiser of the NAWR concert series in Swansea.
Born near London in 1957, Phil Durrant is a multi-instrumentalist improviser/composer/sound artist who currently performs solo and group concerts.
As a violinist (and member of the Butcher/Russell/Durrant trio), he was one of the key exponents of the "group voice approach" style of improvised music. In the late 90s, his trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn represented a shift to a more “reductionist” approach.
Recently, he has been performing solo and duo concerts with Bill Thompson, Mark Wastell, using a modular synthesizer system. As a mandolinist, he has been performing and recording with guitarist Martin Vishnick, mandolinist Richard Scott and drummer Emil Karlsen.
Durrant still performs regularly with the acoustic/electronic group Trio Sowari (with Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins) and Mark Wastell’s The SEEN.
Bill Thompson is a sound artist and composer. He performs as a soloist and with a number of groups including M/H/T with Jan Hendrickse and Tom Mudd, Airfield with choreographer Ian Spink, and in the past with Keith Rowe, Faust, EXAUDI and others. Although originally trained as a guitarist, Thompson has worked with live electronics for the better part of 15 years. His work has involved the combination of found objects, field recordings, repurposed live electronics, and digital media to create evolving structures for installation and live performance. Since 2016/17, however, he has returned to guitar using one built by Moog combining built in electronics with miscellaneous table top devices, found objects, flashing lights, and the occasional vibrator.
Mark Wastell has been active as a musician since 1995, making his initial concerts with the trio IST featuring Rhodri Davies and Simon H. Fell. He has performed and recorded extensively and has collaborated with the likes of Derek Bailey, John Butcher, Evan Parker, Lasse Marhaug, John Tilbury, Mattin, Mark Sanders, Tony Conrad, Tim Barnes, Bernhard Günter, Keith Rowe, John Zorn, Peter Kowald, Joachim Nordwall, Otomo Yoshihide, Burkhard Beins, Paul Dunmall, David Toop, Alan Wilkinson, Max Eastley, Hugh Davies, Julie Tippetts and David Sylvian. Mark also runs the Confront Recordings record label.
CONTAKT is a group of composers/performers created as an ensemble for experimentation and performance. The existing group is seen as a core with a fluid approach to collaboration with other composers, performers and artists in both sounds and images. The members have a wide background in music composition, performance and other art forms, and aim to bring these together in concerts and events. Contakt performs at venues that enable experimentation and the concerts/events are intended to be informal, welcoming and inclusive.
Current members are:
Kerry Andrews - composer/cello
Phil Durrant - improviser/synthesizer
Deborah Edwards - composer-improviser/piano
Derek Foster - composer/piano
Janet Oates - composer-improviser/flute/voice