Thursday 20 August 2015, 8pm
French composer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Bastien brings his unique, self-built musical setup to OTO with support from darkly psychedelic duo, Tomaga.
“A typical gig features Bastien performing behind a table on which his machines are arranged. Once they are up and running, he will play along on his pocket trumpet, sometimes shoving a kazoo in its bell, or blowing it with a saxophone mouthpiece to twist the tone. It's a deceptive act: the music and mechanics are simple, but have an unexpected emotional ring, a forlorn beauty that perhaps comes from the way that, just as the automatons make Bastien play more mechanically, so he seems to give the machines humanity.” – The Guardian, ‘Pierre Bastien: the man who makes Meccano sing’
Pierre Bastien’s is a French musician born 1953 who builds his own machineries, at the cross between music and visual art, that blends live trumpet sounds with screen projections of on-site, mechanical sound sculptures in a very poetic way. His work is described as “a timeless sounding orchestra, both futuristic and slightly dada, conjuring ancient traditions in its surprisingly sensuous music.”
Bastien has been called a “mad musical scientist with a celebrity following” by The Guardian. Collaborating in the past with filmmaker Pierrick Sorin, fashion designer Issey Miyake, singer and composer Robert Wyatt and Aphex Twin (who released three of his albums on his label Rephlex) to name a few, he is one of the most influential experimental musicians working in the field. In 1986 he formed his own self made one man orchestra, Mecanium and made over 20 records over the years.
After their first, self-produced cassette, ‘Sleepy Jazz For Tired Cats’, which was released in 2013, TOMAGA released the acclaimed ‘Futura Grotesk’ LP on the Hands in the Dark label, followed quickly by ‘Familiar Obstacles’ – a cassette release for the boutique London label Blank Editions, that was subsequently released as a limited vinyl in October 2015.
Meanwhile they have played countless concerts and festivals across the world including being invited to open for Deerhoof, Silver Apples and Wire, the latter for their UK tour in May 2015 (for full tourdates see below).
In autumn 2015 Tomaga were invited by Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate to stage a performance using the artworks of Pedro Reyes: re-conditioned weapons confiscated by Mexican police from drug cartels and turned into instruments. The resulting performance will be released on a forthcoming live album. In spring 2016 Tomaga were invited to contribute a sound object to the Yoko Ono exhibition ‘Lumiere De L’aube’ at the Musee D’art Contemporain De Lyon.
In 2016 they will have both an LP and EP release in autumn/winter 2016 as well as live collaborations with Pierre Bastien and Italian radical improv octect Blutwurst.