Thursday 23 August 2018, 7.30pm
After the success of Alterations Festival in 2016, Alterations (Peter Cusack, David Toop, Terry Day and Steve Beresford) plus guests will be back to perform at Cafe OTO and present workshops some of their archives and artworks at Oto Projects, responding to nature, history and music.
Guest artists include John Butcher, Gina Southgate, Pierre Bouvier Patron, Cath Roberts, Max Eastley and Blanca Regina.
More information at www.unpredictable.info
David Toop (born 1949) has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. This encompasses improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. It includes seven acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016) and forthcoming - Flutter Echo, a memoir first published in Japan in 2017 (May 2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2020). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released thirteen solo albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments on Brian Eno’s Obscure label (1975) and Sound Body on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label (2006) to Entities Inertias Faint Beings (2016). His 1978 Amazonas recordings of Yanomami shamanism and ritual were released on Sub Rosa as Lost Shadows (2016). In recent years his collaborations include Rie Nakajima, Akio Suzuki, Tania Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and a revived Alterations, the iconoclastic improvising quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and Terry Day first formed in 1977. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in 2012. He is currently Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.
Peter Cusack is a field recordist, sound artist and musician with a long interest in the environment. He initiated the Favourite Sounds Project to discover what people find positive about soundscapes where they live, and Sounds From Dangerous Places (sonic journalism) to investigate major environmental damage in areas such as the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the Azerbaijan oil fields, brown coal mining in Germany and the Czech Republic and the Bialowieza Forest in Poland.
He produced Vermilion Sounds - the environmental sound programme - for ResonanceFM Radio, and was DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin 2011/12, starting Berlin Sonic Places that explores relationships between soundscape and urban development.
He is currently working on Aral Sea Stories, about the destruction and subsequent partial restoration of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan - a much needed positive example in today’s climate change debate.
Musically he plays guitar and field recordings, improvises, writes tunes and has worked with Alterations, Kahondo Style, Clive Bell, Nic Collins, Ute Wassermann, Viv Corringham, Michael Thieke, Blanca Regina and others.
Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British and international spontaneous music scenes for over forty years, freely improvising on the piano, electronics and other things with people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, John Zorn and Alterations (with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack).
He has written songs, written for large and small ensembles, and scored short films, feature films, TV shows and commercials. He was part of the editorial teams of Musics and Collusion magazines, writes about music in various contexts and was a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. With Blanca Regina, he is part of Unpredictable Series, which produces events and sound and video recordings of experimental music and art.
Steve has worked with Christian Marclay on numerous Marclay mixed media pieces. He has also worked with The Slits, Najma Akhtar, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Tania Chen, Ray Davies, Mandhira De Saram, The Flying Lizards, Zeena Parkins, The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Ilan Volkov, Rachel Musson, Vic Reeves, Lore Lixenberg and many others.
Beresford has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, free-improviser, composer and producer, and was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012. In 2021, Bloomsbury published a book by Andy Hamilton: ‘Pianos, Toys, Music and Noise: Conversations with Steve Beresford’.
Terry Day is a first generation pioneer improviser from the 1960s: an improviser, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, songwriter, visual artist and poet.
A self-taught musician in a family of musicians, he began improvising on the drums with his brother in 1955. In the early ‘60s he formed the Hardy Holman Day trio, focusing on free improvisation. Later he became part of the band Kilburn & the Highroads, with Ian Dury. Sharing their interest in visual art and painting they both studied at Walthamstow School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art, London. As an art student in the ‘60s he was also a pioneer of free improvisation, free jazz & experimental music.
He formed a duo with guitarist Derek Bailey in the late ´60s and was a regular member of The Continuous Music Ensemble,The People Band and, later on, Alterations with David Toop, Steve Beresford & Peter Cusack.
Terry has collaborated with many musical luminaries, groups, dancers, painters, poets and performed in theatre. He now plays bamboo reed flutes, drums, recorders, balloons & improvises with his lyrics, prose and verse. Since 2000 he has been part of London Improvisers Orchestra. In recent years he has toured twice in both Japan and Brazil, and has performed with improvising orchestras in Malaga, Tokyo and Madrid.
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
Blanca Regina is an artist, tutor, and independent curator who works with spontaneous composition systems creating multimedia landscapes using voice, objects, electronics, and visuals. Her visual work, video mapping workshops, and performances have featured in international festivals and exhibitions.
She is co-Founder with Steve Beresford and Pierre Bouvier Patron of Unpredictable Series, which focuses on spontaneous music and experimentation in visual arts. With Beresford, she has co-produced three albums, mixed and mastered by Dave Hunt in London; ‘What Blue’ (2020) Duets with Steve Beresford; ‘Duets with Blanca Regina, Spontaneous Music’ (2018) featuring duets with Leafcutter John, Jack Goldstein, John Butcher, Benedict Taylor, Matthias Kispert, Aneek Thapar, Steve Beresford, Sharon Gal, and Hyelim Kim and and ‘Art of Improvisers’ (2017) a collection album with several artists concentrating in women improvisers.
With Leafcutter John and the recording of their live performances in 2017, they created ‘Miga’, a limited edition Pendrive and digital release. Other collaborations include duos with Matthias Kispert, Peter Cusack, Matt Black (Coldcut), and Reuben Sutherland (Sculpture). Her last album, ‘Shortcuts', is a duo with Wade Matthews, recorded in Madrid in 2020 and released as a digital download in Cafe Oto.
She is currently working with Terry Day on his archives and a documentary film.
Gina Southgate is an artist who, through a growing interest in music and the aesthetic of musical instruments, began to paint at gigs. She is well known on the London free music and jazz scene where she has painted and performed live at gigs for 25 years.