Friday 22 December 2023, 7.30pm
Solos & Trio - Music from “three exceptional British free-improvisers operating in mysterious and poetic ways, always attentive to every gesture but letting the sounds and their fragile dynamics lead them” Eyal Hareuveni
- John Butcher / saxophones
- Sharon Gal / voice, electronics, bells, objects, video
- David Toop / lap steel guitar, flutes, ass recorder, African chordophone, objects
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.
Sharon Gal is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, vocalist and composer, specialising in free improvisation, experimental music and collaborative, participatory large group compositions. She works with voice, electronics, extended techniques, field recordings, found audio, video and collage; exploring presence, listening, embodiment, and the relationship between people, sound and space. Sharon performs solo and in collaborations with: David Toop, Steve Beresford, Phil Minton, Charles Hayward, John Butcher, Andie Brown, Yoni Silver, Sue Lynch, Anat Ben David and Lina Lapelyte.
Since 2007 she has directed a series of site specific, large group compositions, inviting musicians and non-musicians to take part. She curates music concerts, including the series Sound Matter, at Café OTO, and concerts at Iklectik arts lab. Her music is released by many labels, including five solo albums and various collaborations.
Past performances include The V&A, ICA, The Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Modern & Tate Britain, MACBA, and Colour Out Of Space, Borealis, Supernormal, Supersonic, TUSK, and Tectonics festivals. Her experimental work, Etudes by Sharon Gal, a collection of text & colour scores, presented as a deck of 78 cards, was supported by Sound and Music and published in 2021.
David Toop 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 eight acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016), Flutter Echo(2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2019). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released fourteen 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) and Apparition Paintings (2021). 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 Caroline Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Lucie Stepankova, Fred Frith, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed in 2012.