Wednesday 18 March 2015, 8pm
Two day residency from the great French double bass player, improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre.
A pivotal figure in European new music, Léandre has worked with the likes of John Cage and Merce Cunningham as well as having performed with a huge amount of key figures in free jazz and improv from Derek Bailey to Anthony Braxton to John Zorn. It's a pleasure to welcome Léandre to OTO for two dates as part of a trio with Scottish improvising vocalist and dancer, Maggie Nicols, and formidable drummer Roger Turner.
“A true, real artist. Stubborn. Visionary. Uncompromising. Intense. Tender and poetic at moments, raw and angry with the world at other times. She is unconcerned by style, and definitely stays far away from stylistic and formal mannerisms that are needed to placcate the reviewers and the hip audiences. She integrates music as music, and delivers it as music, using elements from tribal rituals over classical finesse to jazz expressionism and avant-garde search for new approaches, yet turning it all into something else, something more authentic, more innovative and - interestingly enough - also more universal.” – The Free Jazz Collective
French double bass player, improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre is one of the dominant figures of the new European music. Trained in orchestral as well as contemporary music, she has played with l’Itinéraire, 2e2m and Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble Intercontemporain. Joëlle Léandre has also worked with Merce Cunningham and with John Cage, who has composed especially for her – as have Scelsi, Fénelon, Hersant, Lacy, Campana, Jolas, Clementi and about 40 composers.
As well as working in contemporary music, Léandre has played with some of the great names in jazz and improvisation, such as Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Irene Schweizer, William Parker, Barre Phillips, Pascal Contet, Steve Lacy, Lauren Newton, Peter Kowald, Urs Leimgruber, Mat Maneri, Roy Campbell, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Mark Naussef, Marilyn Crispell, India Cooke and so many others…
She has written extensively for dance and theater, and has staged a number of multidisciplinary performances. She got the DAAD at Berlin, is welcomed as artist resident at Villa Kujiyama (Kyoto). In 2002, 2004 and 2006, she is Visiting Professor at Mills college, Oakland, CA, Chaire Darius Milhaud, for improvisation and composition. Her work as a composer and a performer, both in solo recitals and a part of ensembles, has put her under the lights of the most prestigious stages of Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Maggie Nicols joined London's legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 as a free improvisation vocalist. She then became active running voice workshops with an involvement in local experimental theatre. She later joined the group Centipede, led by Keith and Julie Tippets and in 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. She continues performing and recording challenging and beautiful work, in music and theatre, either in collaborations with a range of artists (Irene Schweitzer, Joelle Leandre, Ken Hyder, Caroline Kraabel) as well as solo.
Over decades Roger Turner has brought the renowned volcanic power and finely honed precision of his drum work to ensembles that have often forged real connections with musicians both sides of the Atlantic. In addition he has worked extensively in the microscopic laboratory of the acoustic duo situation where he acquired a highly developed sense of detail and of dynamic control. One of that select group of world-class players who have collectively redefined the language of contemporary percussion. In Turner's hands minute inflections of tension can shape the group's musical direction and galvanise a new level of audience experience.