Friday 16 March 2018, 7.30pm
Pleased to welcome American musician, composer and performance artist Miya Masaoka to Cafe OTO for the first time, performing a brace of special, one-off duo sets with Jennifer Walshe and David Toop.
Miya Masaoka works at the intersections of sound, composition, improvisation, spatialized perception and social interaction. Her work encompasses notated compositions, instrument building, creating computing wear-ables and sonifying the behavior of plants, brain activity, and insect movement. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Venice Biennale, Park Avenue Armory, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and MoMA PS1 (2018). Masaoka has taught composition at New York University and in the Music/Sound program at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College since 2002, and is currently the director of the Sound Art MFA program at Columbia University. In 2017, her installation “Vaginated Ears” was shown as the Kunstmuseum Bonn, and in 2018 she will premiere a work for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She has a new Duo CD with Anthony Braxton, and a Trio with Zeena Parkins and Myra Melford on Infrequent Seams
“The most original compositional voice to emerge from Ireland in the past 20 years” (The Irish Times) and “Wild girl of Darmstadt” (Frankfurter Rundschau), composer and performer Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her music has been commissioned, broadcast and performed all over the world. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm, the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt and Akademie Schloss Solitude among others. Recent projects include TIME TIME TIME, an opera written in collaboration with the philosopher Timothy Morton, and THE SITE OF AN INVESTIGATION, a 30-minute epic for Walshe’s voice and orchestra, commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. THE SITE has been performed by Walshe and the NSO, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and also the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. A Late Anthology of Early Music Vol. 1: Ancient to Renaissance, her third solo album, was released on Tetbind in 2020. The album uses AI to rework canonical works from early Western music history. A Late Anthology was chosen as an album of the year in The Irish Times, The Wire and The Quietus. Walshe is currently a professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart. Her work was recently profiled by Alex Ross in The New Yorker.
David Toop (born 1949) has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. This encompasses improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. It includes seven acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016) and forthcoming - Flutter Echo, a memoir first published in Japan in 2017 (May 2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2020). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released thirteen solo albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments on Brian Eno’s Obscure label (1975) and Sound Body on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label (2006) to Entities Inertias Faint Beings (2016). His 1978 Amazonas recordings of Yanomami shamanism and ritual were released on Sub Rosa as Lost Shadows (2016). In recent years his collaborations include Rie Nakajima, Akio Suzuki, Tania Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and a revived Alterations, the iconoclastic improvising quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and Terry Day first formed in 1977. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in 2012. He is currently Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.