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 a sculptor living in London. She has been working on creating installations and performances by responding to physical characters of spaces using combination of motorised devices and found objects. Fusing sculpture and sound, her artistic practice is open to chance and the influence of others. She has exhibited and performed worldwide. She has collaborated with Ikon Gallery(Birmingham), Museo Vostell Malpartida (Cáceres), Tate Modern (London), Serralves Museum (Porto), ShugoArts (Tokyo), Hara Museum (Tokyo) and many others. Her frequent collaborators includes David Cunningham, Keiko Yamamoto, Pierre Berthet, David Toop, Haruko Nakajima and Akira Sakata.
Max Eastley is a sound installation artist and a musician. He has been an AHRC Senior Researcher at Oxford Brookes University investigating Aeolian phenomena through practice-lead research; City Sound Artist for Bonn, Germany; a guest of the DAAD, Berlin, exhibiting installations as well as working as musician and performer, and he is an artist with the Cape Farewell Climate Change Project. His most recent Aeolian installation was at Perrotts Folly for the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.
He has played many solo concerts as well as in combinations with musicians such as David Toop, Evan Parker, Steve Beresford, John Butcher, Ute Wasserman, Phil Minton, Axel Dorner and Al Doyle. He has worked extensively with music and performance including works with dancers and choreographers such as Anna Huber and the Siobhan Davies Company.
His film, “Clocks of the Midnight Hours”, made with director Simon Reynell, has just been re-released by the BFI in their new compilation “Great Noises That Fill the Air”.
For a long time now Phil Minton has been working as a improvising singer, solo and in groups and situations at various locations all over the place, deserts, quarries, concert halls, pubs, holes, dodgy clubs, containers, up trees, in prisons, on mountains, in churches, under bridges and cafe oto etc.
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, including tours with American singer Audrey Chen - with whom he has sang far and wide in the last ten years.
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.
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.
“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.