Friday 16 June 2017, 7.30pm
Art of Improvisers (15th to 22nd June 2017) presents a festival curated by Blanca Regina and Steve Beresford and affirms the importance of women in free improvisation and arts.
It presents, in a variety of ways, both the back history and the current state of women in free improvisation. It also looks at free improvisation’s strong, but rarely noted, connection to visual work.
Art of Improvisers is supported by Arts Council England,Cafe Oto,The British Music Collection,Sound and Music,Art+Feminism and is in association with the Wire 400.
More information at www.unpredictable.info
In association with The Wire 400
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’.
Blanca Regina (b.1980) is an interdisciplinary artist, tutor, and independent curator who works with spontaneous composition systems creating multimedia landscapes using voice, objects, electronics, and visuals. She also makes books, prints, and films and provides lectures, workshops in the UK and internationally. With Steve Beresford - Unpredictable Series - she has co-produced three albums, working with Dave Hunt in London, ‘What Blue’ (2020) Duets with Steve Beresford; ‘Duets with Blanca Regina, Spontaneous Music, - various artists –‘ (2019), ‘Art of Improvisers (2017) - various artists.
For over ten years, she has been working with Terry Day on his art and music archives and completing a documentary film.
A recipient of the composer/ curator Grant and Paul Chagrin award - Sound & Music, her work has been supported by Arts Council England, British Music Collection, Amexcid, Photo-España, and Garage Cube. www.blancaregina.com
David Toop 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 eight acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016), Flutter Echo(2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2019). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released fourteen 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) and Apparition Paintings (2021). 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 Caroline Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Lucie Stepankova, Fred Frith, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed in 2012.
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.
Rie Nakajima is a a sculptor living in London. She has been working on creating installations and performances by responding to physical characters of spaces using combination of motorised devices and found objects. Fusing sculpture and sound, her artistic practice is open to chance and the influence of others. She has exhibited and performed worldwide. She has collaborated with Ikon Gallery(Birmingham), Museo Vostell Malpartida (Cáceres), Tate Modern (London), Serralves Museum (Porto), ShugoArts (Tokyo), Hara Museum (Tokyo) and many others. Her frequent collaborators includes David Cunningham, Keiko Yamamoto, Pierre Berthet, David Toop, Haruko Nakajima and Akira Sakata.
Maggie Nicols joined London's legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 as a free improvisation vocalist. She then became active running voice workshops with an involvement in local experimental theatre. She later joined the group Centipede, led by Keith Tippets and in 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. She continues performing and recording challenging and beautiful work, in music and theatre, either in collaborations with a range of artists (Irene Schweitzer, Joelle Leandre, Ken Hyder, Caroline Kraabel) as well as solo.
Coming up through the world of freely improvised music and spontaneous site specific performance happenings on the avant garde fringe, namely the London Musicians collective, The Klinker Club, The Termite Club, The London Film Co-Op, The China Pig, The Mopomoso, Southgate was encouraged by the absurdity of that scene to 'have a go'. In The early 90's already a bit jaded of making artworks solely in response to musicians own creativity she looked to making performance work herself. She took advantage of the arts council's improvised music touring scheme to co-organise three large scale nationwide tours. These saw site specific artworks made, manipulated, trashed, dismantled and moved on at every venue. Props and costumes were chosen for their absurdist qualities as well as for their visual and sculptural potential and their sonic abilities. Extravagant sets were made from street finds, domestic objects mixed with art materials, ladders, poles, foam, polystyrene. Southgate's degree training in metalwork gave her an ability to construct real time sculpture using anything to hand within the whole environment of the gig.