Tuesday 14 June 2022, 8pm
Delighted to present a very special residency with cellist and composer, Lucy Railton, performing with collaborators old and new across two nights.
"Lucy Railton is one of the days most spellbinding cellists, and her prolific string of releases throughout the past few years is ample evidence to convince any newcomer. Her work is mesmerizingly sculptural: there is a tactile violence to every stroke and pluck but her every motion is in service of a vision for the overarching shape and mood of the resulting piece.” - Wire
Day one sees a new grouping consisting of Lucy alongside Sharon Gal, Caroline Kraabel, and Sophie Fetokaki, followed by a performance of Morton Feldman's monumental 1981 work, Patterns in a Chromatic Field, with Joseph Houston on piano.
"Written in 1981, Patterns in a Chromatic Field is one of US composer Morton Feldman’s lengthy ‘late’ works in which, as he famously explained, ideas of form give way to a sense of scale. Running to more than 90 minutes, it’s a succession of seemingly disconnected patterns, with cello and piano mulling over a few chosen pitches, chords and articulations, maybe moving in and out of sync with each other, before simply moving on to something else. The cumulative effect is almost like experiencing the compositional process unfold before your very ears; and despite the apparent objectivity and detachment of the music, there’s intense subjectivity, too, in Feldman’s minute alterations to his patterns, and his often witty, telling choices as to how they succeed each other." – The Strad
- Group Piece: Sharon Gal, Caroline Kraabel, Sophie Fetokaki, Lucy Railton.
- Patterns in a Chromatic Field (1981) - Morton Feldman
Lucy Railton - cello, Joseph Houston - Piano.
LUCY RAILTON is a cellist based in Berlin who works in composition, improvisation and electronic music, releasing her own work on Modern Love, Editions Mego - GRM Portraits, PAN (with Peter Zinovieff), Takuroku and SN Variations (with Kit Downes). She has recently performed with Rebecca Salvadori, Farida Amadou, Catherine Lamb, Kali Malone, Khyam Allami and Stephen O’Malley and Max Eilbacher. She is also involved in the presentation of works by Maryanne Amacher, Iannis Xenakis and Morton Feldman and music using Just Intonation; her engagement with this repertoire has occasioned extensive explorations of resonance, rational intonation and psychoacoustics, preoccupations that are ever present in her own work. Lucy established the Kammer Klang series at Cafe OTO, which ran for 10 years, and co-founded and co-directed the London Contemporary Music Festival from 2013-2016.
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.
Caroline Kraabel is a London-based improviser.
In 2022 Kraabel brought together a large improvising group made up of all sorts of women, non-binary, and transgender improvisers: ONe_Orchestra New.
Other active groups include:
Transitions Trio (with Charlotte Hug and Maggie Nicols); Fit To Burst, a song-based trio with Sarah Washington and John Edwards (https://carolinekraabel.bandcamp.com/album/fit-to-burst); a duo with Pat Thomas (on piano); the Poetry Quintet with Rowland Sutherland, John Edwards and Sofia Vaisman-Maturana, which incorporates live poetry from guest poets, including Moor Mother.
Kraabel has performed and recorded with many other excellent improvisers, including Robert Wyatt, Louis Moholo, Cleveland Watkiss, Hyelim Kim, Susan Alcorn, Veryan Weston, Mariá Portugal, Neil Metcalfe, Mark Sanders, Shima Kobayashi, and Chris Corsano.
Kraabel’s solo saxophone improvisations while walking in London and elsewhere with her infant child/ren in their pushcair were broadcast weekly 2002-2006 on Resonance 104.4 FM as Taking a Life for a Walk and more recently (without children) as Going Outside. Other radio work includes a series of interviews with improvisers in many media (music, dance, visual art, politics, activism), Why is Improvising Important.
Improvisers and Improvisation, made with John Edwards, is a 22-hour radio piece including music, noise, electronics, live performance and new interviews with improvisers; broadcast as part of 2022’s Radio Art Zone: https://radioart.zone/saturday-10-september
Some Kraabel compositions:
Performances for Large Saxophone Ensemble 1, 2, 3 and 4, for 21-piece spatial saxophone/voice ensemble; Get Used To Balancing, a suite of pieces for alto sax, percussion and two flutes; Now We Are One Two, a 45-minute solo performance; Recording The Other, for soprano, cello, flute, piano and four recording devices; LAST 1, 2 and 3 for pre-recorded voice (Robert Wyatt) and large ensemble; many songs; numerous pieces for large improvising ensembles in London and around the world, including Une note n’écoutant qu’elle-même and Missing.
Kraabel’s 40-minute soundfilm about lockdown London (London 26 and 28 March 2020: imitation: inversion, https://vimeo.com/505430655) received its avant-première at Café Oto in 2021, is available on the Jazzed app, and won the 2021 Ivor Novello Award for Sound Art Composer.
Kraabel conducted, devised pieces for, and played with the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO) from 1998-2022, and organised their 20th anniversary celebrations, which featured celebrated LIO members from throughout the group’s history.
Joseph Houston is a British pianist whose wide-ranging curiosity has led to activity in a variety of fields, particularly contemporary and experimental music. He is based in Berlin, and his playing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio Cemat Rome, and Albanian national television. Collaboration with composers makes up a large part of Joseph’s work, and he has given first performances of works by, among others, Christian Wolff, Simon Holt, Colin Matthews, Michael Zev Gordon, Antonia Barnett-McIntosh, Louis D’Heudieres, Martin Suckling, Charlotte Bray, Catherine Lamb, Stephen Crowe, Nomi Epstein, and Christian Mason.
In recent years Joseph has performed all over Europe and in China at venues and festivals such as the Berlin Biennale, Lille Piano(s) Festival, Ухо Festival (Kiev, Ukraine), the BBC Proms, Suture Soven Festival, Wigmore Hall, Cheltenham Music Festival, Kammer Klang (Cafe Oto), Pharos Contemporary Music Festival (Cyprus), Unerhörte Music (Berlin), Ryedale Festival, Occupy the Pianos Festival (London), Music Week Festival (Beijing Normal University), Piano Salon Christophori (Berlin), Pianodrom Festival (Albania), KM28 (Berlin), Pirelli HangarBiccoca (Milan), and Summartonar Festival (Faroe Islands). He is also the pianist for the Octandre Ensemble, a London-based ensemble focusing on music written since 1945.