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 is a saxophonist. His work is about the creative, situated friction of learning, ideas, people and the saxophone – music, history and technique – actual and potential.
Seymour's solo music is documented on three widely-acclaimed collections - Seymour Wright of Derby (2008), Seymour Writes Back (2015) and Is This Right? (2017).
Current projects include: @xcrswx with Crystabel Riley; abaria with Ute Kanngiesser; [Ahmed] with Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Pat Thomas; GUO with Daniel Blumberg; XT with Paul Abbott; The Creaking Breeze Ensemble; a trans-atlantic duet with Andy Guthrie, and, with Jean-luc Guionnet a project addressing an imaginary lacunae in Aby Warburg's Atlas Mnemosyne.
Ute Kanngiesser is a London based cellist and composer from Germany. Over the years, she has carefully deconstructed her classical roots and almost exclusively performs unscripted, improvised music. Much of her work has evolved in relationship with other art forms such as film, poetry, dance, and site specific performance.
Cafe Oto has been her musical home since its beginnings and where she has collaborated with a wide spectrum of local and visiting artists. She has also performed at Whitstable Biennale, The Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, the V&A and international festivals.
During the late noughties CRYSTABEL RILEY toured Japan and Europe using drums, electronics and make-up in power-noise trio Maria and the Mirrors. This was the start of her interest in patterns on skins — human and drum. An interest in dimensional patterns existing on (and off) different surfaces has continued to evolve through exploring the idea of 'care and uncare' of various skin surfaces. Crystabel has been a long-term collaborator with Sue Lynch who welcomed her into the Horse Improvised Music Club and later played in the London Improvisers Orchestra. She is currently working on the multi-format duo project @xcrswx with Seymour Wright and recently released a split vinyl with Lolina.