14–15 December 2021
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 Lia Mazzari, 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
For the second night of the residency, Lucy and US composer and violist, Catherine Lamb perform a work in progress for cello, viola and voice? based on Catherine's piece The Additive Arrow (2021) (originally written for Conrad Tao and Jay Campbell). In recent years the pair have played together in various configurations that focus on rational intonation, and regularly collaborate within the framework of the Berlin based Harmonic Space Orchestra. Alongside this, the night includes a moment of audio and video collaboration between Lucy and video artist Rebecca Salvadori, and for the final part of the night Lucy joins the established duo of Steve Noble (drums) and Farida Amadou (bass) for an improvised set.
- Group Piece: Sharon Gal, Caroline Kraabel, Lia Mazzari, Lucy Railton.
- Patterns in a Chromatic Field (1981) - Morton Feldman
Lucy Railton - cello, Joseph Houston - Piano.
- Catherine Lamb / Lucy Railton
- Rebecca Salvadori / Lucy Railton
- Farida Amadou / Steve Noble / Lucy Railton
Berlin/London based musician Lucy Railton has been an active performer, programmer and music maker since 2008, releasing albums on Modern Love, Editions Mego - GRM Portraits, PAN, ECM, SN Variations, Shelter Press and Takuroku. Having emerged from a long-term engagement with classical and contemporary music, she now makes her own work alone or in collaboration with artists and musicians from varied disciplines, including Rebecca Salvadori, Peter Zinovieff, Catherine Lamb, Khyam Allami, Kit Downes, Kali Malone and Stephen O’Malley, and in recent years has worked with Beatrice Dillon, Philippe Parreno, Rhodri Davies, Laura Grace Ford, Alex Hills, choreographers Akram Khan and Sasha Milavic Davies, Yair Elazar Glotman and the film director John Lee. As an organiser she has been involved in presentations of work by Maryanne Amacher and Henning Christiansen amongst many other productions during her time as co-director at London Contemporary Music Festival and Kammer Klang, and has performed in focus concerts lead by Pauline Oliveros, Iancu Dumitrescu, Mary Jane Leach, Cally Spooner, Matmos and many more. Lucy has performed at festivals and venues including Dark Mofo (Tasmania), Blank Forms (New York), Cafe Oto, Borealis Festival, Atonal, Koln Philharmonie, Barbican, Berlin Jazz, Donaueschingen, Sydney Opera House, Rewire, AKOUSMA (GRM), Norbergfestival, Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía and CTM.
Sharon Gal is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, vocalist and composer, specialising in free improvisation and participatory, collaborative compositions.
She works with voice, electronics, various instruments, field recordings, found audio & video; exploring presence, listening, embodiment, and the relationship between people, sound and space.
Sharon performs solo and in many collaborations including: David Toop, Steve Beresford, Phil Minton, Charles Hayward, Andie Brown, Yoni Silver, Sue Lynch, Blanca Regina, Anat Ben David and Lina Lapelyte.
Since 2007 she has been directing a series of large group, site specific compositions, inviting musicians and non-musicians to take part.
Past performances include The V&A, Science Museum, ICA, The Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Modern & Tate Britain, MACBA, and Colour Out Of Space, Borealis, Supernormal, Supersonic and TUSK festivals.
Sharon's music was released by many labels, including five solo albums and various collaborations.
Her new experimental work, Etudes, a collection of text & colour scores and propositions, presented as a deck of 78 cards, was published in 2021.
Caroline Kraabel came to London from Seattle as a teenager, just too late to realise her punk dreams and instead discovering the saxophone, street performance and busking. There were ideas about freedom in the air, including the punk ideal of music as something anyone could do, which led to music in which one could, with application and inspiration, do anything: improvisation. London’s vibrant improvised music scene and its many great musicians gave Kraabel opportunities to explore extended techniques (especially the use of voice with the sax) and to spend time thinking about acoustics and the interactions of electricity and music: reproduction, synthesis, and their implications.
Caroline Kraabel is committed to improvisation as a way of living and working, making music in unexpected ways and places (Taking a Life for a Walk; Going Outside) but also composing and playing written music (Mass Producers and Saxophone Experiments in Space for large groups, and many pieces for smaller groups). She has worked with Anri Sala, Maggie Nicols, Andrea Zarza Canova, Evan Parker, Annie Lewandowski, John Tchicai, Cleveland Watkiss and Susan Alcorn, among many fine artists, and was a director of the London Musicians Collective, which created Resonance 104.4fm, London’s art radio station.
Caroline Kraabel has been playing with and conducting the London Improvisers Orchestra for many years, exploring improvisation and conducted improvisation for large groups (up to 50 musicians).
Lia Mazzari’s work is often collaborative engaging new audiences through encounters with art in non-conventional spaces. She creates live and recorded events that embrace the broader sense of sound in space. This fluid relationship with her immediate environment, towards a sonic activism through the means of performance, intervention, installation and developing her own technique with cello, sometimes whips , and live-sound-transmission technologies form the crux of her practice. She is the founder of Silver Road, an experimental performance space housed in a derelict water tank in South-East London, later devoted to time-based art practices in the urbanscape. She performed amongst others with Tarek Atoui, Ashley Paul, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Ilan Volkov, Christof Migone, Angharad Davies, Sholto Dobie and Tom White.
Joseph Houston is a British pianist active in the fields of contemporary and experimental music. Based in Berlin, he performs a wide range of repertoire, recent performances including Feldman, Jennifer Walshe, Scarlatti, Rebecca Saunders, Ives, Klaus Lang, Bartók, Catherine Lamb, and Chiyoko Szlavnics. He plays regularly in festivals and venues across Europe both as a soloist and with other artists.
Joseph aims to create unique and immersive programmes that combine works from various musical worlds, generating a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts, while involving himself as much as possible in the compositional process of new commissions. He believes music is fundamentally collaborative and is particularly interested in works that challenge the traditional composer-performer-listener triangle; use performance practice as a compositional parameter; and intensely explore the sonic possibilities of the instrument. He works on a project-by-project basis, building programmes that explore these ideas.
Recent highlights include solo performances at Donaueschinger Musiktage 2019, broadcast on SWR; duos with Sarah Saviet (violin) at Radialsystem as part of Sasha Waltz's ZUHÖREN #4; a CD of chamber music by Thomas Simaku with Quatuor Diotima on BIS; and a recording of Mark Barden's Études 1-3 on WERGO.
Catherine Lamb (b. 1982, Olympia, Wa, U.S.), is a composer exploring the interaction of elemental tonal material and the variations in presence between shades and beings in a room. She has been studying and composing music since a young age. In 2003 she turned away from the conservatory in an attempt to understand the structures and intonations within Hindustani Classical Music, later finding Mani Kaul in 2006 who was directly connected to Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and whose philosophical approach to sound became important to her. She studied (experimental) composition at the California Institute of the Arts (2004-2006) under James Tenney and Michael Pisaro, who were both integral influences. It was there also that she began her work into the area of Just Intonation, which became a clear way to investigate the interaction of tones and ever-fluctuating shades, where these interactions in and of them-selves became structural elements in her work. Since then she has written various ensemble pieces (at times with liminal electronic portions) and continues to go further into elemental territories, through various kinds of research, collaboration, and practice (herself as a violist). She received her MFA from the Milton Avery School of Fine Arts at Bard College in 2012 and is currently residing in Berlin, Germany.
Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.
In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).
As autodidact, Farida Amadou draws the most exciting sounds out of her bass without losing sight of the musicality. In her, to date, short musical career, she makes her mark (inter)nationally in challenging collaborations with people such as Peter Brötzmann, Thurston Moore, Mette Rasmussen and Julien Desprez.
London-based video artist with a long experience of filming environments following a non-hierarchical/chronological layering and sequencing of audio to footage. Her film work, including ambiguous short documentaries, artists’ portraits, music videos and AV sets, is both highly personal and wilfully elusive. Throughout the years, Salvadori has accumulated an extensive video archive from which she creates assemblages. This acts as the basis for filmic portraits of moments, people and environments. Her work has been shown at venues and festivals including Videodrome Paris (FR), III Point Festival Miami (US), Club to Club (IT), Macro Museum of Contemporary Art (IT), Barbican Art Center (UK), Festival of Film and Animation Olomouc (CZ), Festival IMAGES (CH), Crosstalk Video Art Festival (HU), David Lynch’s Silencio (FR), SCHNUCK Glaspalais (NL), Sophiensaele Theatre (DE).