Sunday 5 May 2019, 7.30pm
A celebration of David Toop's 70th birthday and the launch of his autobiography – Flutter Echo – published by Ecstatic Peace Library.
David Toop (born 1949) has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. This encompasses improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. It includes seven acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016) and forthcoming - Flutter Echo, a memoir first published in Japan in 2017 (May 2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2020). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released thirteen solo albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments on Brian Eno’s Obscure label (1975) and Sound Body on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label (2006) to Entities Inertias Faint Beings (2016). His 1978 Amazonas recordings of Yanomami shamanism and ritual were released on Sub Rosa as Lost Shadows (2016). In recent years his collaborations include Rie Nakajima, Akio Suzuki, Tania Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and a revived Alterations, the iconoclastic improvising quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and Terry Day first formed in 1977. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in 2012. He is currently Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.
A legendary Japanese sound artist, Akio Suzuki has been performing, building instruments, and presenting sound installations for nearly 40 years. His music is simple and pure, exploring how natural atmospheres and sounds can be harnessed and then set free. To experience his art is to lose oneself in the sound that surrounds us. Akio performs on a range of unique self-made instruments including Analapos – an instrument he invented in the 1970s that creates echoes through the acoustic transmissions of a spiral cord stretched between two metal cylinders, De Koolmees - consisting of hollow glass tubes suspended over a frame, and an ancient stone flute (Iwabue) passed down through his family for many generations. Akio has collaborated with artists such as Toru Takemitsu, Takehisa Kosugi, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Steve Lacy and John Butcher.
Aki Onda is an electronic musician, composer, and visual artist. Aki was born in Japan and currently resides in New York. He is particularly known for his Cassette Memories project – works compiled from a “sound diary” of field-recordings collected by himself over a span of two decades. Aki’s musical instrument of choice is the cassette Walkman. Not only does he capture field recordings with the Walkman, he also physically manipulates multiple Walkmans with electronics in his performances. In recent years, Aki often works in interdisciplinary fields and collaborates with filmmakers, choreographers and visual artists. He has collaborated with artists such as Michael Snow, Ken Jacobs, Paul Clipson, Alan Licht, Loren Connors, Oren Ambarchi, Noël Akchoté, Jean-François Pauvros, Jac Berrocal, Lionel Marchetti, Linda Sharrock, and Blixa Bargeld.
Elaine Mitchener is an experimental vocalist and movement artist whose work melds different vocal styles encompassing free-improvisation, contemporary new music, sound art, music theatre and dance. She has worked and performed in a wide variety of contexts with leading artists including: Apartment House, Van Huynh Co, Steve Beresford, Sonia Boyce, John Butcher, Attila Csihar, Alexander Hawkins, Tansy Davies, George Lewis, Christian Marclay, Phil Minton, The Otolith Group, Evan Parker, Alasdair Roberts, David Toop, and Jason Yarde. She is co-founder of experimental jazz quartet the Hawkins/Mitchener Quartet (with Neil Charles, Stephen Davis and Alex Hawkins).
“Mitchener is a distinctive presence and interacts with her body and the remarkable sounds she produces: speech, soulful singing, breathless percussive bursts, skittering across octaves.” (Ben Luke, Evening Standard)
“SWEET TOOTH is a vital black British addition to those seminal creative statements of resistance and defiance from the African Diaspora.” (Kevin Le Genre, Jazzwise)
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
Terry Day is a first generation pioneer improviser from the 1960s: an improviser, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, songwriter, visual artist and poet.
A self-taught musician in a family of musicians, he began improvising on the drums with his brother in 1955. In the early ‘60s he formed the Hardy Holman Day trio, focusing on free improvisation. Later he became part of the band Kilburn & the Highroads, with Ian Dury. Sharing their interest in visual art and painting they both studied at Walthamstow School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art, London. As an art student in the ‘60s he was also a pioneer of free improvisation, free jazz & experimental music.
He formed a duo with guitarist Derek Bailey in the late ´60s and was a regular member of The Continuous Music Ensemble,The People Band and, later on, Alterations with David Toop, Steve Beresford & Peter Cusack.
Terry has collaborated with many musical luminaries, groups, dancers, painters, poets and performed in theatre. He now plays bamboo reed flutes, drums, recorders, balloons & improvises with his lyrics, prose and verse. Since 2000 he has been part of London Improvisers Orchestra. In recent years he has toured twice in both Japan and Brazil, and has performed with improvising orchestras in Malaga, Tokyo and Madrid.