Friday 8 March 2019, 7.30pm
The Lindsay Cooper Songbook group regret to announce that for the forthcoming concerts in March, Dagmar will not be performing with us. This is due to a serious back condition from which she needs more time to recover. Stepping in as lead vocalist is Atsuko Kamura, whose work we have admired for many years. Kamura began in music in the 80's as vocalist and bassist of Mizutama Shobodan (Polka Dot Fire Brigade), the first feminist punk band in Japan. She toured the US with Tenko as the Honeymoons, joined the Frank Chickens in London, and the anglo-Japanese jazz progressive rock band Setsubun Bean Unit, and initiated projects such as I am a Kamura, with Robert Storey, and Kamura Obscura. Throughout her work she has maintained clear political, feminist, and ecological positions, campaigning recently against nuclear power, following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
'...Each sound they played was polished to the extent that no other sounds would have been suitable to play Lindsay Cooper's music’
'I was extremely impressed by this superior ensemble which recreated Lindsay Cooper's music in the best form imaginable.' Osamu Sakamoto (EURO ROCK PRESS)
A selection of Lindsay’s compositions for the groups Henry Cow, News From Babel and Music for Films, 1978 – 1982.
- Yumi Hara / arrangements, piano, keyboards, lever harp, voice (The Artaud Beats, you me & us, Jump for Joy!, Frank Chickens, etc)
- Chlöe Herington / bassoon, soprano sax, melodica (Knifeworld, Chrome Hoof, VÄLVĒ)
- Atsuko Kamura / voice (Polka Dot Fire Brigade, Frank Chickens, Kamura Obscura, etc)
- Tim Hodgkinson / clarinet, alto sax, lap steel guitar (Henry Cow, Konk Pack, The Hyperion Ensemble, etc)
- Chris Cutler / drums (Henry Cow, News from Babel, Peter Bregvad Quintet, Himmel, The Hyperion Ensemble, etc)
- Mitsuru Nasuno / bass (Korekyojinn, Ground Zero, etc)
ABOUT LINDSAY COOPER:
Lindsay Cooper (1951-2013) brought the bassoon and the compositional techniques of 20th century art music into the world of ‘70s experimental rock. She was a musical polyglot, equally fluent in classical, rock, jazz, and free improvisation and the author of many film and theatre soundtracks. She was a member of the groups Comus, Henry Cow, National Health, David Thomas and the Pedestrians and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. She co-founded News from Babel and the Feminist Improvising Group and led her own projects Music for Films and Oh Moscow. She lived for many years with multiple sclerosis, which eventually forced her to retire from performing in the 1990s.
Yumi Hara formed Half The Sky in 2015 to perform Lindsay Cooper’s songs in Japan. The original group was entirely Japanese, with the exception of original drummer and lyricist Chris Cutler. This group - with small personnel changes - was later invited to Europe, when it was joined by the songs’ original singer Dagmar Krause. For these new European concerts the line-up adds two more members of Henry Cow, for whom much of this material was written, and we call ourselves Lindsay Cooper Songbook. As was true of the original bands Henry Cow and News From Babel - the new line-up retains an equal gender split.
Yumi Hara’s compositions have been performed by contemporary classical ensembles such as PianoCircus and the BBC Singers, but she has become increasingly well known as an improvisor and performer in the avant rock, Canterbury and RIO scene since releasing CD 'Dune' with Hugh Hopper in 2008. She has formed bands and projects such as The Artaud Beats (with Geoff Leigh, Chris Cutler, John Greaves), you me & us (with Daevid Allen, Chris Cutler), Jump for Joy! (with Jean-Herve Peron, Zappi, Chris Cutler, Geoff Leigh, Geraldine Swayne), THE WATTS (with Tim Hodgkinson and Chris Cutler) and Half the Sky / Lindsay Cooper Songbook. She is senior lecturer in music at University of East London.
THE WATTS (Yumi Hara, Chris Cutler, Tim Hodgkinson) were formed to perform at the 25th anniversary event of Sakedelic Space Shuyukan in Oumi Hachiman, one of the most important venues for this kind of music in Japan, in 2017; after that they toured in Japan many times, played in the UK and France, and released the CD ‘Decoherence’. THE WATTS make stuff up as they go along but it seems to have undeniable form. There are songs; of a sort - and there are a lot of unidentifiable sounds, extended techniques, pedal work, preparations…. But still the result seems determinedly organic, contra-virtual and human (with frailties). Toshiaki Sudoh guests regularly when THE WATTS play in Tokyo and nearby cities, but this is his first appearance with THE WATTS outside Japan. THE WATTS with Toshiaki Sudoh's unreleased track will be included as part of ReR Italia 40th Anniversary compilation album due to be out in autumn 2023.