Sunday 29 January 2023, 8pm
Delighted to welcome the trio of John Butcher (saxophone), Pat Thomas (keys) and Ståle Liavik Solberg (drums), who combined to stunning effect on 2019's 'Fictional Souvenirs' LP (Astral Spirits). For the first set, Pat will be performing on electronics, before switching to piano for the second set.
"One of the most unusual settings we've ever heard for the always-sharp saxophone work of John Butcher – a set that features lots of moogy moments from Pat Thomas, who uses both a theremini and electronics – alongside much more organic sounds on percussion from Stale Liavik Solberg! Butcher's always had this incredible ear for tones and unusual phrasings, but the trio here really brings out that quality even more than before – so much so, it's almost difficult to tell who's handling what elements at times – which is quite a testament to all three improvisers!" – Dusty Groove on 'Fictional Souvenirs
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.
Ståle Liavik Solberg (drums/percussion) has established a base for himself as a central part of Oslo's thriving improvised music scene. Working with ensembles VCDC, Will it float? (with John Russell, Steve Beresford & John Edwards), Silva-Rasmussen-Solberg trio and in duos with Fred Lonberg-Holm and John Russell his open and attentive drumming has received many positive responses from musicians and audiences in both Europe and the USA. Solberg is also known as one of the driving forces behind the series Blow Out! in Oslo, and he curates the festival with the same name together with fellow drummer / percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love.
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann