Saturday 29 November 2014, 8pm

JOHN BUTCHER AT 60 – DAY TWO

No Longer Available

A very special two-day residency to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of the greats of improvised music - John Butcher. Featuring a line-up comprised of some of Butcher's closest and most long-standing collaborators as well as some brand-new groupings brought together specially for these two days, this should be a unmissable celebratory residency for a musician who has provided a whole host of highlights at Cafe OTO since we opened. 


John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of harmonics, multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. But his playing is far more than merely an array of special effects: it's characterised by an intensity that propels it into strange new places that are both incredibly beautiful and deeply exhilarating.

[ TWO DAY EVENT – Series pass available ]

 

When he was finished there were audible exclamations from the audience and the question was asked, not for the first time: ‘why does no one else play saxophone like that?’ - Dalston Sound, review of John Butcher at Cafe OTO, 2012

Line–up:

John Butcher + Guillaume Viltard + Dominic Lash + Olie Brice (double basses) — Gino Robair (drums) + Rhodri Davies (harp) + Adam Bohman (objects) — Vellum: John Butcher + Magda Mayas (piano) + Tony Buck (drums)

 

John Butcher, saxophones

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.

Guillaume Viltard, double bass

An intensely physical double-bassist Viltard was one of OTO’s first associate artists – he has played and performed here with musicians as diverse as Otomo Yoshihide and Kan Mikami, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and Evan Parker. Particularly memorable was a sensational solo set in support of Marc Ribot. Most often his work has been in the ‘classic’ jazz format of saxophone/bass/drums: from trios with the late Tony Marsh and Shabaka Hutchings, to most recently Eddie Prévost and Ken Vandermark.

His uncompromising, physical and rhythmic approach to the double-bass – always acoustic, adamant – connects to jazz learning from sources as diverse as Jean-Jacques Avenel, Barre Phillips, Johnny Mbizo Dyani and Ronnie Boykins. 

His close association with OTO endures, and since late summer 2013 he has been part of a group of musicians playing, pushing and learning day and night in the OTO project space. Most often private, groupings around this new energy these groups are increasingly public, for example Steve Noble’s (new) Quartet.

Video by Helen Petts

Dominic Lash, double bass

Dominic Lash is an improviser and composer. A partial list of musicians he has worked with includes Antoine Beuger, Tony Conrad, Angharad Davies, Jürg Frey, Elizabeth Harnik, James Ilgenfritz, Charlotte Keeffe, Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Evan Parker, Éliane Radigue, Mark Sanders, Roger Turner, Fay Victor, and Philipp Wachsmann. Best known as a double bass player, he's emerged as a guitarist since the 2020 lockdown, during which he "spent his time developing a very interesting and personal approach to electric guitar... Lash uses the Telecaster's basic yet unique design super-effectively; the biting, percussive nature of the instrument highlighted by the sheer power in his contrabass-trained hands" (Paul Khimasia Morgan).

http://dominiclash.blogspot.co.uk/

Olie Brice, double bass

Olie Brice is an improvising double bassist from London. He leads two bands - a quintet that plays his original compositions and a freely improvising trio featuring Tobias Delius and Mark Sanders. He has also worked with musicians including Paul Dunmall, Tony Malaby, Steve Swell, Achim Kaufmann, Alex Ward and Ingrid Laubrock.

“Brice makes the entire body of his bass sing. He has the ability to deliver a fractal line that is as purposeful as any by the great jazz bassists, but to do so within an entirely abstract setting” - Brian Morton, Point of Departure

Gino Robair, drums, percussion

Gino Robair is a San Francisco Bay Area-based percussionist and composer who has performed and recorded with Anthony Braxton, Tom Waits, John Butcher, LaDonna Smith, Otomo Yoshihide, Eugene Chadbourne, John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and the Club Foot Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Splatter Trio and Pink Mountain. Robair's multimedia work "Grand Electric Skull" was commissioned and performed by the ROVA Saxophone Quartet with Ikue Mori in San Francisco in 2013, while his theater piece "The Amanuensis" was premiered at GIOfest VI in Glasgow the same year. His opera "I, Norton," based on the life of Norton I, Emperor of the United States, has been staged throughout North America, Europe, and Japan.

"[Gino Robair] holds the listener captive as he oscillates between the accidental and the intentional; between the tiniest, most delicate noise and a torrential outpouring of sound." - San Francisco Bay Guardian

Rhodri Davies, electric harp

Rhodri Davies is immersed in the worlds of improvisation, musical experimentation, composition and contemporary classical performance. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice, dry ice and fire harp installations and has released six solo albums. His regular groups include: HEN OGLEDD, Cranc, Common Objects and a duo with John Butcher. He has worked with the following artists: David Sylvian, Jenny Hval, Derek Bailey, Sofia Jernberg, Lina Lapelyte, Pat Thomas, Simon H Fell and Will Gaines. For the last ten years Davies has been closely associated with the pioneering composer Eliane Radigue performing seventeen of her pieces. She composed OCCAM I for Davies in 2011, the first in an ongoing series of solo and ensemble pieces for individual instrumentalists in which a performer’s personal performance technique and particular relationship to their instrument function as the compositional material of the piece. New pieces for solo harp have also been composed for him by: Christian Wolff, Carole Finer, Philip Corner, Phill Niblock, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone. 

http://www.rhodridavies.com/

Photo by Warren Orchard

Adam Bohman, objects

Adam Bohman has been operating on the outer fringes of underground music for decades. Working with home-built instruments, found objects, tape cut-ups, collages, ink drawings and graphic scores. Favouring acoustic sounds over electronics, he explores the minute tendrils of sounds coaxed from any number of non-musical instruments and objects. He is a member of British experimental groups, Morphogenesis, The Bohman Brothers, Secluded Bronte, and The London Improvisers Orchestra. Adam's music is unique and experimental, incorporating Fluxus japery, musique concrete, sound poetry and free improvisation. 

Magda Mayas, piano

Magda Mayas is a pianist living in Berlin. Developing a vocabulary utilizing both the inside as well as the exterior parts of the piano, using preparations and objects, she explores textural, linear and fast moving sound collage. 

Alongside the piano, Mayas has recently been performing on a Clavinet/Pianet, an electric piano from the 60s with strings and metal chimes, where she engages with noise and more visceral sound material, equally extending the instrumental sound palette using extended techniques and devices.

Tony Buck, drums

Tony is regarded as one of Australia's most creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. He has been involved in a highly diverse array of projects but is probably best known around the world as a member of the trio The Necks. 

Following studies and early experience in Australia he spent time in Japan, where he formed PERIL with Otomo Yoshihide and Kato Hideki before relocating to Europe in the mid-nineties. 

Some of the more high profile projects he has been involved with include the band Kletka Red, and touring and recording with, among others, The EX, The Exiles, and Corchestra, and involvement with most of the international improvisation and new music community and festivals. 

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