Sunday 24 May 2015, 8pm, Islington Assembly Hall
Foom & Toutpartout are proud to present the UK premiere of Arthur Russell's concert piece, Instrumentals at Cafe OTO.
Instrumentals is one of Arthur Russell’s most important concert works; performed live six times to date, it was inspired by the nature photography of Yuko Nonomura.
The premiere took place in Berkeley, California in January 1975. As a composition it continued to evolve and change as Russell and his ensemble performed it in music venues throughout New York City over the next four years. Considered to be part of the minimalist movement of the time, it featured one of the first pairings of pop and concert hall aesthetics and was the first exploration of its kind in the vibrant downtown New York scene.
It has been described by Pitchfork as: “a masterpiece…up there with World Of Echo as Arthur Russell’s greatest achievement.”
Peter Gordon and Arthur Russell met in New York City in 1975. Bonding over their shared love of instrumental pop music, they soon became close friends and frequent collaborators. As well as playing keyboards in many of the New York shows, Gordon also worked closely with Russell on the arrangement and notation of Instrumentals. Consequently, many parts of the original score are in Gordon’s handwriting.
Peter Gordon went on to form the Love Of Life Orchestra and to composer music for theatre and film. He had a retrospective of his work with the Love Of Life Orchestra issued on the DFA label in 2011, released a collaboration with Factory Floor in 2013 and has continued to serve as music producer on Robert Ashley’s Vidas Perfectas.
In March 2012, almost twenty years after Arthur Russell’s death, Peter Gordon unveiled his new reading of Instrumentals at a sold-out performance in New York City’s renowned arts centre, The Kitchen.The performance featured several members of Arthur Russell’s original ensemble plus more recent additions to the downtown New York scene.
Peter Gordon / sax, organ
Peter Zummo / trombone
Ernie Brooks / bass
Rhys Chatham / flute
Gavin Russom / synths
Max Gordon / piano, trumpet
Gerry O’Beirne / guitar
Bill Ruyle / drums & vibraphone