Saturday 30 July 2022, 8pm
Delighted to present 'Eddie Prévost at 80 — marking a journey to a bright nowhere', a series of concerts marking the 80th birthday of one of the UK's foremost improvising musicians.
Whether through his pioneering work with AMM, his long-running London Workshop group, his work with his own Matchless Recordings imprint, or his many collaborations - live and recorded - with the likes of Evan Parker, John Butcher, Joe McPhee, Derek Bailey, and Jim O'Rourke to name just a few, Prévost has had an incalculable impact on the fields of improvised and new music in this country and beyond. These four concerts seek to bring together some of the many facets that make up the body of Eddie's work.
Eddie would like to dedicate this series to Victor Schonfield, the hugely influential promoter who helped change the landscape of experimental music in the UK in the 1960s and 70s, and who died in May this year.
The investigative dynamic of AMM leads a musician to seek out new material. It is the fabric and constitution of stuff that is considered as more important than any historical or cultural heritage. It is Prévost's constant exploration's that has produced the range of sounds associated with his work, particularly within AMM and its extension to the many workshop ensembles. This philosophy leads to what Seymour Wright has so aptly described as the "awkward wealth" of investigation.(citation) It is a position of constant examination and artistic redress.
AMM is a British free improvisation group that was founded in London, England, in 1965. The group was initially composed of Keith Rowe on guitar, Lou Gare on saxophone, and Eddie Prévost on drums. The three men shared an interest in exploring music beyond the boundaries of conventional jazz, as in free jazz and free improvisation. AMM has never been popular but has been influential in improvised music. Most of their albums have been released by Matchless Recordings, which was run by Eddie Prévost. In a 2001 interview, Keith Rowe was asked if "AMM" was an abbreviation. He replied, "The letters AMM stand for something, but as you probably know it's a secret!"
"AMM music may initially seem impenetrable, but it sure as hell penetrates you. Soon the desired state is instilled in the listener; a rapt vacancy somewhere between supreme concentration and utter absentmindedness." - Melody Maker
On AMMMusic, long tones sit next to abrasive thuds, the howl of uncontrolled feedback accompanies Cardew's purposeful piano chords, radios beam in snatches of orchestral music. AMM's clearest break with jazz-based improvisation concerned the idea of individuality. Initially through an engagement with eastern philosophy and mysticism and later though a politicized communitarianism, AMM sought to develop a collective sonic identity in which individual contributions could barely be discerned. In the performances captured on AMMMusic the use of numerous auxiliary instruments and devices, including radios played by three members of the group, contribute to the sensation that the music is composed as a single monolithic object with multiple facets, rather than as an interaction between five distinct voices." - Francis Plagne
Eddie Prévost / percussion, Keith Rowe / electric guitar and transistor radio, John Tilbury / Piano
Keith Rowe (born 16 March 1940 in Plymouth, England) is an English free improvisation tabletop guitarist and painter. Rowe is a founding member of both the influential AMM in the mid-1960s (though in 2004 he quit that group for the second time) and M.I.M.E.O. Having trained as a visual artist, Rowe's paintings have been featured on most of his own albums. After years of obscurity, Rowe has achieved a level of relative notoriety, and since the late 1990s has kept up a busy recording and touring schedule. He is seen as a godfather of EAI (electroacoustic improvisation), with many of his recent recordings having been released by Erstwhile Records.
John Tilbury is renowned for his peerless interpretation of the piano music of Morton Feldman, John Cage, Christian Wolff and Howard Skempton. In addition to the performances and seminal recordings that he has made of these composers’ works, he has been an eloquent advocate of their music in his writing and speaking about them. The same is true of the attention he has paid to the music and ideas of Cornelius Cardew, the subject of his authoritative biography published in 2008, and with whom he played in the legendary improvisation groups the Scratch Orchestra and AMM. In the last ten years John Tilbury has performed a range of plays and prose pieces by Samuel Beckett.