Wednesday 16 March 2022, 8pm
Around a year ago, Bloomsbury published ‘Pianos, Toys, Music and Noise’ by Andy Hamilton. Based on a series of conversations with Steve Beresford, it also included notes putting the chats in context and contributions from many of Steve’s collaborators. There was also a section of very good photographs. The cover photo and title (used for the three days at Café Oto on Steve’s 70th birthday) were supplied by Unpredictable’s Blanca Regina.
As Bloomsbury classified the book as academic, its price was quite high. But now there’s a paperback edition at a much lower price.
Now, Unpredictable presents Pianos, Toys, Music, and Noise: an evening that includes a 30-minute conversation with Steve Beresford and author Andy Hamilton and performances by Steve Beresford, Angharad Davis, Pat Thomas, Terry Day, Blanca Regina, and visuals by 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’.
Andy Hamilton has been writing for The Wire since 1985, probably a record of continuous service. His day job is teaching Philosophy at Durham University, UK. His books include Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser's Art and Aesthetics and Music (both 2007) and Pianos Toys Music and Noise: Conversations with Steve Beresford (2020).
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.
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
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.
Blanca Regina is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, and educator based in London currently involved in creating audio-visual performances, sound works, installations, films, and book arts.
She is co-founder of Unpredictable Series focused on spontaneous music and experimentation, visual arts, and archives. With Steve Beresford, she has produced three albums, mixed and mastered by Dave Hunt in London. ‘What Blue’ (2020) Duets with Beresford; ‘Duets with Blanca Regina, Spontaneous Music’ featuring duets with Leafcutter John, Jack Goldstein, John Butcher, Benedict Taylor, Matthias Kispert, Aneek Thapar, Steve Beresford, Sharon Gal, and Hyelim Kim and ‘Art of Improvisers’ (2017) a collection album with several artists concentrating on women improvisers. With long-time collaborator and artist Leafcutter John capturing their live performances in 2017, they created ‘Miga’ limited-edition pen drive and digital release. Other collaborations include performances and projects with Matthias Kispert, David Toop, Matt Black (Coldcut), Art Terry, and Peter Cusack.
Pierre Bouvier Patron is a visual artist based in London. He is currently working with different media, such as digital video and film, exploring the boundaries between them and creating moving image works, performances and installations. He has developed various practices and skills in experimental film, documentary films, music videos, etc.
He is involved in video screenings and video performances, solo or in collaboration, with musicians such as Syd Kemp, Steve Beresford, Neil Charles and artist Blanca Regina, among others. His work has been shown in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, etc.
His latest works include Unpredictable: Conversations with Improvisers, a series of 12 videos about improvisers in the UK, music videos for Ben Marc. His work also includes extensive participation with collectives such as Unpredictable Series, Strange Umbrellas, and several festivals such as Sonic Waterloo, Art of Improvisers, Alterations Festivals.