Friday 17 June 2016, 8pm
Joshua Abrams / guimbri, double bass
Lisa Alvarado / harmonium, gong
Ben Boye / autoharp
Mikel Avery / drums
Evan Parker / saxophone
Natural Information Society is the name of Joshua Abrams’ group that formed in the wake of his records for Eremite. Live the music centres around the sound of the guimbri (a Gnawan lute), integrating composition and improvisation to create hypnotic, highly rhythmic, psychedelic environments with an orientation towards uplift. For this show they'll be joined for a very special performance with the great Evan Parker.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams has released eight albums, collaborated on over a hundred recordings, and composed soundtracks for Steve James’ Life Itself, the Emmy award winning The Interrupters, and Bill Siegel’s The Trials of Muhammad Ali. The New York Times describes his 2012 record, Represencing (Eremite) as "music that hints at the ceremonial without losing its modern bearings" and The Wire named his record Natural Information (Eremite) one of the top 50 recordings of 2010. The Village Voice picked his record Unknown Known as “one of the top 10 jazz albums of 2013”. He was a founding member of the “back porch minimalism” collective Town and Country and with Matana Roberts and Chad Taylor, the trio Sticks and Stones. Primarily known as a bassist, Joshua’s performances and recordings include work with Fred Anderson, Roscoe Mitchell, Hamid Drake, Peter Brotzmann, Bill Dixon, John Tchicai, Toumani Diabate, Joe McPhee, The Roots, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Mike Reed, Rob Mazurek, Gerald Cleaver, Henry Grimes, Bobby Broom, Dana Hall, Axel Dorner, Neil Michael Hagerty and the Howling Hex, Prefuse 73, Savath and Savalis, Sam Prekop, Jandek, Rhys Chatham, Damo Suzuki, Theaster Gates, Craig Taborn and Earle Brown. His latest record “Magnetoception” is due out in the fall of 2014 on Eremite records.
Natural Information Society is the name of Abrams’ group that formed in the wake of his records for Eremite. Live the music center around the sound of the guimbri (a Gnawan lute), integrating composition and improvisation to create hypnotic, highly rhythmic, psychedelic environments with an orientation towards uplift. This incarnation of Natural Information Society will also feature Lisa Alvarado on harmonium and Frank Rosaly on drums.
"If you've ever been tempted by free improvisation, Parker is your gateway drug." - Stewart Lee
Evan Parker has been a consistently innovative presence in British free music since the 1960s. Parker played with John Stevens in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation and held a long-standing partnership with guitarist Derek Bailey. The two formed the Music Improvisation Company and later Incus Records. He also has tight associations with European free improvisations - playing on Peter Brötzmann's legendary 'Machine Gun' session (1968), with Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens (A trio that continues to this day), Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, and Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO).
Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time.