Friday 13 July 2018, 8pm, OTO Project Space
Fantastic quartet of improsiving musicians featuring the distinctive talents of Canadian guitarist Arthur Bull, singer & vocal artist Phil Minton, clarinetist & guitarist Alex Ward and drummer / percussionist Roger Turner.
Arthur Bull has been active on the improvised music scene in Canada since the mid-1970s, during the early days of the Music Gallery in Toronto. In 1980’s he was a member of the Bill Smith Ensemble, participating in numerous multimedia collaborations, and he also toured with Smith in the music/performance duo Duck Soup. Since the late 1990’s he primarily worked with fellow guitarist Daniel Heïkalo, touring, recording and appearing in several major festivals. Over the years Arthur Bull has collaborated with many leading Canadian improvisers, and has also performed in concert with international players, including Roscoe Mitchell, John Tchicai, Joe McPhee, Roger Turner, Peter Kowald, Paul Rutherford, Bob Cobbing, Fred Anderson, Kidd Jordan, John Russell, Mike Cooper, and John Butcher. He has released more than 16 CDs over the years, including solo, duo and group recordings, and has toured extensively, most recently in Europe and Mexico. Arthur is also a long-time blues musician, and has performed both as a solo act, and as a member of Les Surruralist(e)s and the Spokes. Arthur Bull is a published poet, with four poetry books to his name, and works as an activist for small-scale fisheries, locally and internationally. He lives on Digby Neck in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Phil Minton comes from Torquay. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 60s - Then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the later of part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980′s.
For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as an improvising singer in lots of groups, orchestras, and situations. Numerous composers have written music especially for his extended vocal techniques. He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner and John Butcher, and ongoing duos, trios and quartets with above and many other musicians.
Since the eighties, His Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for anyone who wants to sing, has performed in over twenty countries.
“Phil Minton is best known for his startling vocal improvisations. On his new solo CD, this sensible looking man proffers 37 thin slices of his unfettered soul. Not long ago these croaks, burps, high-pitched exhalations, deep-throated drones and shreds of garbled half-language would have seen Minton either burnt or hailed as an emissary of God.” – Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times
Alex Ward is a composer, improviser, and performing musician, working primarily with clarinet and guitar. His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. He subsequently took part regularly in Bailey's Company events, and has gone on to become a major figure in British improvised music.
His current work ranges from the duo Dead Days Beyond Help, in which he plays guitar and sings, his group Predicate who perform his compositions, regular improvising groups with Steve Noble, Kay Grant and others, as well as more ad hoc encounters with musicians as diverse as Thurston Moore, Joe Morris and Duck Baker. He brings a unique energy and inventiveness to all these projects, elevating them far above the ordinary and injecting them with a thrilling sense of danger and possibility.
"...guitarist Alex Ward [is] a compulsively creative polymath of indiscriminately omnivorous appetite ... a reliably unpredictable axe-hero for collaborators of all backgrounds." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times Review
Over decades Roger Turner has brought the renowned volcanic power and finely honed precision of his drum work to ensembles that have often forged real connections with musicians both sides of the Atlantic. In addition he has worked extensively in the microscopic laboratory of the acoustic duo situation where he acquired a highly developed sense of detail and of dynamic control. One of that select group of world-class players who have collectively redefined the language of contemporary percussion. In Turner's hands minute inflections of tension can shape the group's musical direction and galvanise a new level of audience experience.