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 in 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 radically 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. Along this journey she has worked with some of the most influential players of free music and experimental composition, as well as artist film makers, writers and architects.
Most recent collaborations have been with John Tilbury, Seymour Wright, Paul Abbott, Billy Steiger, Angharad Davies, Steve Noble, Crystabel Riley, Rie Nakajima, Daniel Blumberg, Jim White, Eddie Prevost, John Butcher, Evie Ward, Tom Wheatley, Jennifer Allum, Marjolaine Charbin, Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga, Keiko Yamamoto, Phil Minton, Pak Yan Lau, Assemble, and Keira Greene.
Her music has been released on Otoroku, Matchless, Earshots, Another Timbre and Mute. www.utekanngiesser.com
Words about Ute Kanngiesser's solo release Geäder (Earshots):
"Automatic writing almost, or a fugue state. Arriving at an end point is an exhaustion, almost like waking from a dream. You look back at what has been created with bafflement. Footprints on a beach you can’t remember. You marvel: what have I done?" – We Need No Swords
"[...] environmental sounds captured in Hackney as a spur for improvisation; nasal bowing sounds, percussive fanfares, unspooling loops of harmonics that crack upon impact – whole sides to the cello normally shut down by conventional technique." - The Guardian
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).