Monday 24 September 2018, 7.30pm
“On 3 June, Max Eastley, Phil Minton, Ute Kanngiesser, Marie Roux, Billy Steiger have played/observed sound of each other at the Cafe of IKON Gallery in Birmingham for a closing event of my solo exhibition. Keiko Yamamoto curated the event so she was there to support the event from Devon, Pierre Berthet was sitting in the audiences as we played duo in the previous event on the day. I don’t know how musicians talked before the concert as I was busy taking down my installation upstairs, but it was very intimate and beautiful little moments accepting and allowing each others. It seems there were duo, trio, quartet, quintet but there were none of these at the same time. The relationship is equal between all of them/us and it was like we are all playing together. Phil Minton said : let’s do something similar at Cafe OTO, but I don’t know how they made it happen, so I ask every musicians who were there including Pierre Berthet and Keiko Yamamoto to gather again and do something together. Nothing has been decided except names..” – Rie Nakajima
Rie Nakajima is a Japanese artist based in the UK. She has exhibited and performed all over the world charming audiences with her inventive works of mechanical bricolage. In 2014 she received the Arts Foundation prize for Experimental Music. She co-curates the event series 'Sculpture' with David Toop and has collaborated with Miki Yui, David Cunningham, Phill Niblock, Pierre Berthet and many others.
Max Eastley is an internationally recognized artist who combines kinetic sculpture and sound into a unique art form. He is well known as a musician and has played many solo concerts and also played with numerous other musicians such as David Toop, Evan Parker, Steve Beresford, Aleks Kolkowski and Rhodri Davies.
Phil Minton comes from Torquay. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 60s - Then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the later of part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980′s.
For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as an improvising singer in lots of groups, orchestras, and situations. Numerous composers have written music especially for his extended vocal techniques. He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner and John Butcher, and ongoing duos, trios and quartets with above and many other musicians.
Since the eighties, His Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for anyone who wants to sing, has performed in over twenty countries.
“Phil Minton is best known for his startling vocal improvisations. On his new solo CD, this sensible looking man proffers 37 thin slices of his unfettered soul. Not long ago these croaks, burps, high-pitched exhalations, deep-throated drones and shreds of garbled half-language would have seen Minton either burnt or hailed as an emissary of God.” – Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times
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
“Highly experimental French sounds emanating from homemade instruments and recording constructs create quite a varied listening experience even for seasoned avant-garde fans... The construction of new instruments by Pierre Berthet are designed to dislocate the center of the listening experience and play tricks on the ear, forcing the listener to search of the sonic center of his music.” – All Music
Pierre Berthet lives and works in Liège, Belgium. Musician, composer, inventor, craftsman. He studied percussion with André Van Belle and Georges-Elie Octors. Improvisation with Garrett List. Composition with Frederic Rzewski. Music theory with Henri Pousseur. He designs and builds sound objects and installations (steel, plastic, water, magnetic fields, ...). He presents them in exhibitions and solo or duo performances. He worked with Frédéric Le Junter, Pierre Bastien, dj Low, Rudi Trouvé, and played percussion with Arnold Dreyblatt ("Animal Magnetism" on Tzadik, "The Sound of One String" on Table of the Elements).
Billy Steiger was born in Howth on the 16th December, 1986. Now he plays the violin.
“Then he sat down by a pond and began to play a tune. As he played, the most extraordinary thing happened. One by one the fish in the pond began to jump out and fly about in the air. And what is more, they were all different colours and they were singing to the music.”
Patrick, Quentin Blake.