Friday 6 March 2020, 7.30pm
Unpredictable series presents: PIANO, TOYS, MUSIC & NOISE - a programme of events during Steve Beresford’s residency in Cafe Oto (6,7,8 March) on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
Steve is a central figure in UK free improvisation. The programme brings together a diverse group of artists to celebrate, reflect and create.
Rob Worby will be talking to Steve at Oto on Sunday afternoon.
Performances at Cafe Oto include a different DJ each night (Mark Ainley, Zakia Sewell & Mark Ainley) all with connections to Honest Jon´s Records. Old and new collaborators and friends will perform, including Alterations (Terry Day, Peter Cusack, David Toop, Steve Beresford), Douglas Benford, Hyelim Kim, Crystabel Riley, Martin Vishnick, Satoko Fukuda, Rie Nakajima, Mark Sanders, John Butcher, Angharad Davies, Max Eastley, Najma Akhtar, Blanca Regina, Pat Thomas, Mandhira de Saram & Rachel Musson.
Others Beresfords will be playing guerilla roles throughout.
Visual installations by Blanca Regina and Pierre Bouvier Patron.
Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British and international spontaneous music scenes for over forty years, freely improvising on the piano, electronics, and other things with people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, John Zorn, and Alterations (with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack).
He has written songs, written for large and small ensembles, and scored short films, feature films, TV shows, and commercials. He was part of the editorial teams of Musics and Collusion magazines, writes about music in various contexts, and was a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. With Blanca Regina, he is part of Unpredictable Series, which produces events and sound and video recordings of experimental music and art.
Steve has worked with Christian Marclay on numerous Marclay mixed media pieces. He has also worked with The Slits, Najma Akhtar, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Tania Chen, Ray Davies, Mandhira De Saram, The Flying Lizards, Zeena Parkins, The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Ilan Volkov, Rachel Musson, Vic Reeves, Lore Lixenberg and many others.
Beresford has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, free-improviser, composer and producer, and was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012. In 2021, Bloomsbury published a book by Andy Hamilton: ‘Pianos, Toys, Music and Noise: Conversations with Steve Beresford’.
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.
Peter Cusack is a field recordist, sound artist, and musician with a long interest in the environment. He initiated the Favourite Sounds Project to discover what people find positive about soundscapes where they live and Sounds From Dangerous Places (sonic journalism) to investigate major environmental damage in areas such as the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the Azerbaijan oil fields, brown coal mining in Germany and the Czech Republic and the Bialowieza Forest in Poland.
He produced Vermilion Sounds - the environmental sound programme - for ResonanceFM Radio, and was DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin 2011/12, starting Berlin Sonic Places that explores relationships between soundscape and urban development.
He is currently working on Aral Sea Stories, about the destruction and subsequent partial restoration of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan - a much-needed positive example in today’s climate change debate.
Musically he plays guitar and field recordings, improvises, writes tunes, and has worked with Alterations, Kahondo Style, Clive Bell, Nic Collins, Ute Wassermann, Viv Corringham, Michael Thieke, Blanca Regina, and others.
Terry Day is a first generation pioneer improviser from the 1960s: an improviser, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, songwriter, visual artist and poet.
A self-taught musician in a family of musicians, he began improvising on the drums with his brother in 1955. In the early ‘60s he formed the Hardy Holman Day trio, focusing on free improvisation. Later he became part of the band Kilburn & the Highroads, with Ian Dury. Sharing their interest in visual art and painting they both studied at Walthamstow School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art, London. As an art student in the ‘60s he was also a pioneer of free improvisation, free jazz & experimental music.
He formed a duo with guitarist Derek Bailey in the late ´60s and was a regular member of The Continuous Music Ensemble,The People Band and, later on, Alterations with David Toop, Steve Beresford & Peter Cusack.
Terry has collaborated with many musical luminaries, groups, dancers, painters, poets and performed in theatre. He now plays bamboo reed flutes, drums, recorders, balloons & improvises with his lyrics, prose and verse. Since 2000 he has been part of London Improvisers Orchestra. In recent years he has toured twice in both Japan and Brazil, and has performed with improvising orchestras in Malaga, Tokyo and Madrid.
As a composer and sound artist, Douglas Benford has been involved in various audio genres since the late 1980s, performing at many institutions/venues in the UK (Bristol’s Arnolfini, London’s Science Museum, Tate Modern, The Roundhouse, ICA and Glasgow’s CCA), festivals worldwide and had installation work in numerous UK art spaces. He is a regular contributor to the London Improvisers Orchestra, as well as playing with Confront Recordings’ The Seen collective. His collaborators in recent years have included Blanca Regina, Dominic Lash, Martin Vishnick, Crystabel Riley, poet Tamar Yoseloff, Olivia Moore, Matt Atkins, Lina Lapelyte, Jem Finer, Clive Bell, John Edwards, Jennifer Allum, Sue Lynch, sculptor Rob Olins and many more.
During the late naughties Crystabel Riley toured Japan and Europe using drums, electronics and make-up in noise trio Maria and the Mirrors.
This was the start of her interest in patterns on skins - human and drum.
This interest in dimensional patterns existing on (and off) different surfaces has continued to evolve through exploring the idea of 'care and uncare' of the skin, self, others, and the world, across all of Crystabel's practices as an Artist (Make-up, Drum).
Crystabel has been a long term collaborator with Sue Lynch who welcomed her into the Horse Improvised Music Club, where she collaborated with Caroline Krabel, John Edwards, and Steve Beresford who welcomed her into the London Improvisers Orchestra.
She is currently working on the multi-format duo project @xcrswx with Seymour Wright.
Satoko has performed worldwide as a classical violinist, and currently on EMANEM Label with the Trio of Uncertainty. Since her concerto debut at thirteen, she has broadcasted an eclectic range of music for Classic FM, Resonance FM, BBC Radio 1, and BBC Radio 3. TV appearances include BBC Culture show and the Sky Classics. UK appearances include the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, the South Bank, and the Barbican. Chosen to be musician in residence for the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House, she frequently travels with the team on international diplomatic engagements. Moving fluidly beyond the classical music, she is a regular guest performer at events such as the London Fashion Show, and the London Jazz Festival
Rie Nakajima is a Japanese artist working with installations and performances that produce sound, often using a combination of kinetic devices and found objects. She has exhibited and performed widely both in the UK and overseas and has produced ‘Sculpture’ with David Toop since 2013. She also has a collaborative project ‘Dead Plants/Living Objects’ with Pierre Berthet, and recently released the CD ‘Dethick’ with Angharad Davies and Alice Purton.