Saturday 7 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’.
Tania Caroline Chen is a performance, sound artist, and free improviser. She performs internationally on piano, keyboards, digital, vintage electronics, found objects and video. She creates multidimensional sound pieces for video and live performance and has shown these works in the UK, Asia and California.
Tania has recorded with Stewart Lee, Steve Beresford, Henry Kaiser, William Winant, Wadada Leo Smith, Jon Raskin and with Bryan Day & Ben Salomen in the bands Bad Jazz and Tom Djll & Gino Robair in the trio Tender Buttons. Her solo recordings include Michael Parsons, Cornelius Cardew's Piano Sonatas and John Cage's "Music of Changes". She has recently recorded Feldman’s piano pieces “Triadic Memories” and “For Bunita Marcus” in New York and at KPFA radio in California.
Highly regarded writer, stand-up comedian and director. Stewart Lee has been described as "the comedian's comedian, and for good reason" by The Times, whilst he has described himself as "fat" and his performance as "positively Neanderthal, suggesting a jungle-dwelling hermit, struggling to coax notes out of a clarinet that has fallen from a passing aircraft". Despite this Stewart has been involved in numerous interesting musical projects and maintains a strong association with the avant-garde and improvised scene.
Ståle Liavik Solberg (drums/percussion) has established a base for himself as a central part of Oslo's thriving improvised music scene. Working with ensembles VCDC, Will it float? (with John Russell, Steve Beresford & John Edwards), Silva-Rasmussen-Solberg trio and in duos with Fred Lonberg-Holm and John Russell his open and attentive drumming has received many positive responses from musicians and audiences in both Europe and the USA. Solberg is also known as one of the driving forces behind the series Blow Out! in Oslo, and he curates the festival with the same name together with fellow drummer / percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love.
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
Angharad Davies is a Welsh violinist based in London working with free-improvisation, compositions and performance.Her approach to sound involves attentive listening and exploring beyond the sonic confines of her instrument, her classical training and performance expectation.
Much of her work involves collaboration. She has long standing duos with Tisha Mukarji, Dominic Lash and Lina Lapelyte and plays with Common Objects, Cranc and Skogen. She has been involved in projects with Tarek Atui, Tony Conrad, Richard Dawson, Gwenno, Roberta Jean, Jack McNamara, Rie Nakajima, Tim Parkinson, Eliane Radigue, Georgia Ruth and J.G.Thirlwell.
Most of her records are released on Another Timbre but she also has releases on Absinth Records, Confrontrecords, Emanem, Potlatch and winds measure recordings.Her first orchestral piece was commissioned by LCMF in 2019.
Max Eastley is a sound installation artist and a musician. He has been an AHRC Senior Researcher at Oxford Brookes University investigating Aeolian phenomena through practice-lead research; City Sound Artist for Bonn, Germany; a guest of the DAAD, Berlin, exhibiting installations as well as working as musician and performer, and he is an artist with the Cape Farewell Climate Change Project. His most recent Aeolian installation was at Perrotts Folly for the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.
He has played many solo concerts as well as in combinations with musicians such as David Toop, Evan Parker, Steve Beresford, John Butcher, Ute Wasserman, Phil Minton, Axel Dorner and Al Doyle. He has worked extensively with music and performance including works with dancers and choreographers such as Anna Huber and the Siobhan Davies Company.
His film, “Clocks of the Midnight Hours”, made with director Simon Reynell, has just been re-released by the BFI in their new compilation “Great Noises That Fill the Air”.
NAJMA AKHTAR, British born, vocalist, songwriter and actor, has an important place in music history by introducing Jazz to the traditional genre of the Ghazal (Urdu ballad), thereby creating the new musical genre of World Music.
Having been at the forefront of the World Music scene for two decades, Najma has proved to be a successful and versatile artist, renowned for using modern jazz influences with Indian vocals, creating a beautiful fusion of eastern and western styles, pushing the sound barriers by introducing Blues, Rock and other eclectic influences to new and undiscovered frontiers.
This iconic pioneer’s presence on the World Music scene had led to a new wave of inspired Asian artists of Indian descent following in her footsteps.
She has released eight critically acclaimed solo albums and has collaborated with many world-class artists, as diverse as Jah Wobble, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Andy Summers (The Police), Basement Jaxx, Jethro Tull, Philip Glass and Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart). She was in several musical and creative theatre projects: ‘Bollywood Dreams’ with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tara Arts and the National Theatre. Najma is set to release her new album, ‘Five Rivers’.
In-house distributor for Honest Jon's Records and founder of Ethbo - a label whose roster includes a release by Mike Cooper; Killing Melody, a collection of 70s Japanese gangster soundtracks; and the crazed garage-rockabilly of Dean Carter. He co-compiled the Moondog retrospective "The Viking Of Sixth Avenue" for Honest Jon's, and made two compilation albums of vintage music for Ace Records: Nippon Guitars - a selection of Japanese guitar pioneer Takeshi Terauchi - and the follow-up Nippon Rock'n'Roll, a compilation of Masaaki Hirao's late 50s rokabirii.
An avid collector of old Japanese records, he has played at Life Bar, for Julian Opie, at tsunami charity events and, more recently, on KNYX, NTS Live and Rinse FM.