Wednesday 10 January 2018, 7.30pm
“Whenever the innovative jazz and contemporary-classical music of recent times gets weighed up, the name of Keith Tippett doesn't surface as often as it should. Yet for his prepared-piano experiments, early advances in jazz-rock fusion, compositions for chamber ensembles, adventures for huge orchestras and more, the Bristol-born pianist and composer is a key figure in European art music.” – The Guardian
Keith Tippett presents The Rare Music Club – two nights specially curated by Tippett himself, featuring collaborations spanning the formidable breadth of his creative output. Tippett is one of the most important European jazz musicians (improvisers, composers, arrangers) in the last 40 years and its with great pleasure that we welcome him back to Cafe OTO.
"Keith Tippett has become the father figure of postmodern jazz piano in the UK. The only dispute in such a statement is the word ‘jazz’; used here to describe a music extending way beyond the bounds of music rooted in “the great American moment”. Keith Tippett has created and fashioned a form of spontaneous composition that finds its setting in totally unique solo piano studies via quartets, sextets, octets and large scale interactive jazz orchestras, fusing compositional arrangements with detailed instant improvising (Centipede, Ark, the Georgian Ensemble and Tapestry Orchestra). The breadth of his activity trips the imagination into a massive canon of possibilities and resolutions. For example his work with Louis Moholo-Moholo and the other ‘Blue Notes’ musicians exiled from South Africa in the 1960’s, plus his on-going commissions in contemporary music composition including the stunning ‘Linukea’ Piano Quintet, his key role in the legendary decades-driven quartet, Mujician with Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers and Tony Levin, and finally, at the heart of it all, the essential core duo of Couple In Spirit with Julie Tippetts. The conclusion is starkly obvious, we are faced with a phenomenon way, way outside any kind of regular understanding of British ‘jazz’ and improvisation." Steve Day, 2012: ‘Two Full Ears – Listening To Improvised Music’ (Soundworld); ‘Song of The Fly’ (Leo Records)
Julie Tippetts is one of the foremost European vocalists in the field of contemporary jazz and improvised music. Her recording and performing career has taken her from the early years of soul/jazz/R&B with Brian Auger in the 1960s to working with some of the world’s leading improvising musicians today. Julie’s extended use of the voice as an instrument has led her to develop a vocal technique beyond the boundaries of a conventional singer. Her career highs are endless; she has explored the range of vocal possibilities in groups such as the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Centipede, Ovary Lodge, Voice and the Ark, Mujician and The Georgian Ensemble, The Dedication Orchestra, Keith Tippett’s Tapestry and Couple in Spirit.
Theo May has always had his own, idiosyncratic approach to music-making. This creative sensibility has been directly informed by independent discovery, with intuition at its core. Although his primary focus is composition, playing the violin has always been extremely important to him and it is this practical approach to musical creativity which continues to inform and nourish his own music making.
Formal musical guidance came initially from the South West Music School, and it was during this time that Theo first had the chance to work with Keith and Julie Tippetts, musicians who have been deeply influential and supportive to him. In 2014 Theo began studying composition and violin at the Purcell School of Music, and in 2016 began studying composition at the Royal College of Music with Mark-Anthony Turnage. In the next year a new recording of improvised music with the Keith and Julie is planned, as well as the launch of his new suite for String quartet, ‘Lost Paths’.
Filmmaker Robert Castiglione has been documenting the work of renowned Ruined Piano artist Ross Bolleter for over 10 years traveling with Ross in his search for ruin across Australia from Tasmania to remote Western Australia country towns.
The resulting film, “An invitation to Ruin”, gives a wonderful insight into this unique artist, his work and the extraordinary environments in which the work is created.!
Rob Castiglione says, “ Ross works in the moment, improvisationally, so I had to be ready to capture immediately whatever emerged. I found myself filming and recording pianos in an incredible variety of locations – on roof tops, in a dam, in a lonely field or perched precariously on a granite outcrop!
Each ruined piano is utterly unique, their sound and appearance evolving and changing as they decay back into the earth. From these ruins, Ross would coax an astonishing variety of different sounds, enlarging our notion of what a piano, and indeed, what music itself is. The film unfolds through Ross’s encounters with ruined pianos. As far as possible I let the ruined pianos speak for themselves.”