Tuesday 19 June 2018, 7.30pm
Daniel Arcus Incus Ululat Higgs is a musician and artist from Baltimore, Maryland on whose behalf superlatives are destined to fail. It’s not that his artistic output – spanning three decades, numerous albums, books of poetry and collections of drawings – simply eludes classification, it defies it. Often we hear that a true work of art is meant to speak for itself, and with the work of Daniel Higgs the maxim rings truer than ever. His art is of the cosmos, we on Earth merely lucky that it happens to be confined to our atmosphere, in our lifetime.
Higgs is known primarily for his work as the sole lyricist and frontman of the band Lungfish, a four-piece dedicated to charting, in this listener’s estimation, nothing short of the evolution of all species, known and unknown. That the band has undertaken this pursuit in the guise of a humble rock outfit, in the absence of any public relations fanfare, metanarrative, or manifesto has been enough to endear them to tens of thousands. They are enshrined as one of America’s last true folk bands, and Higgs anointed as a patron saint to artistic purity.
In recent years, Higgs has released a number of solo outings that can only be described as the ultimate in isolation, worlds away from the hypnotic, communal rock of his band. On Atomic Yggdrasil Tarot, Higgs weaves meditative, casually ruptured drones using acoustic and electric guitar, upright pianos, banjo and jew’s harp, recorded entirely at home on cassette recorder. He pairs the music with a series of paintings that call to mind religious iconography passed through the disfiguring surrealism of Miro.
Seymour Wright’s work is about the creative, situated friction of learning, ideas, people and the saxophone – music, history and technique – actual and potential.
His solo work is documented on three widely-acclaimed collections - Seymour Wright of Derby (2008), Seymour Writes Back (2015) and Is This Right? (2017).
Current projects include: abaria with Ute Kanngiesser; [Ahmed] with Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Pat Thomas; @xcrswx with Crystabel Riley; GUO with Daniel Blumberg; The Experimental Library with Evie Ward; XT with Paul Abbott; a trans-atlantic duet with Anne Guthrie, and, with Jean-luc Guionnet a project addressing an imaginary lacunae in Aby Warburg's Atlas Mnemosyne.
His writing has been published in C//A, Sound American and The Wire.
Ute Kanngiesser is a London based musician from Germany. She has played classical cello since early childhood and turned to improvisation and experimental music while training in physical theatre and dance in Berlin. Since then, she has thoroughly deconstructed her classical roots and focussed on the immediate material of her instrument - its limitless resonance and pulse, its potential for an elemental music that dissolves conventional notions of rhythm and pitch and what it means to be lyrical.
Most recent collaborations have been with Seymour Wright, Crystabel Riley, Paul Abbott, Keira Greene, Billy Steiger, Evie Ward, Daniel Blumberg, Tom Wheatley, Jim White, Taku Sugimoto, Minami Saeki, Joe McPhee, David Ornette Cherry, and Steve Noble.
Her music has been released on Otoroku, Matchless, Earshots, Another Timbre and Mute. www.utekanngiesser.com
During the late naughties Crystabel Riley toured Japan and Europe using drums, electronics and make-up in noise trio Maria and the Mirrors. This was the start of her interest in patterns on skins - human and drum.
She was later encouraged - and welcomed - into the Horse Improvised Music Club by Daniel Thompson and Sue Lynch respectively. This instantly consolidated into weekly playing with Sue, who she still collaborates with.
She is currently working on the multi-format duo project @xcrswx with Seymour Wright. This contrasts the LIVE (evolved sounds / patience / relentless) and the ANDROID (cropped media [sounds+visuals] / impatience / InstantPublication).