Saturday 4 April 2015, 7pm, OTO Project Space
Free early evening double bill in the Project Space from Squares and Triangles and O Yama O. Music from 8pm.
Formed in 2007, Squares and Triangles consists of Jason Dungan, Dustin Ericksen, Anthony Faroux, Sam Porritt, and Maria Zahle. Recordings and performances explore the possibilities of song-oriented improvisation, with Anthony Braxton, the Frogs, and Whitney Houston cited as inspiration, as well as the collective-minded work of the Red Krayola and the AACM. The band has performed live in music venues and art spaces in the UK, Switzerland, and Unnaryd, Sweden.
Squares and Triangles have released their music for free on their website for several years. Later this year, they will issue their first full-length LP on Oh. They will be performing at the Wysing Arts Centre Music Festival in September, and in October they will stage an exhibition at Haut in Copenhagen, Denmark.
O YAMA O explores a certain domestic and democratic quality of everyday life, born through associations to folk music of Japan and a folding of myth, tradition, and routine; the non-spectacular and the sublime.
Formed of musician and artist Rie Nakajima and Cafe OTO co-founder Keiko Yamamoto, the group has performed since 2014 at venues and festivals such as noshowspace, Ikon Gallery, Wysing Arts Centre, Supernormal, Borealis Festival, Mayhem, and allEars Festival.
Nakajima’s performance often focuses on the use of found and kinetic objects, using modest items such as rice bowls, toys, clockwork, balloons and small motors as instruments to create a “micro orchestra”. Elements are layered into impressive and immersive atmospheres. Yamamoto alternatively floats and charges through this with body and voice; chanting, incanting, thundering, whispering, stamping on the floor.
Their debut album consolidates their musical conversations into keenly paced studio music, the duo working with additional instrumentation and a resolved focus on melody to provide vivid portraits of folkloric Japan in song.
They move between pop and the philosophical, defined by the overall space afforded to texture and movement. In small, delicate sound an intimate musical climate is established that reflects on life, telling stories of improvised clockwork, whispered dreams, small movements of the hand and the rhythm to be found in the shuffle of a deck of cards.
Grandly theatric and dramatic flourishes add solidity to these illustrations, operas driven by the swooping energy and power of Yamamoto’s voice can be playful or emotionally charged, particularly when the duo arrange themselves in ensemble with violinist Billy Steiger and percussionist Marie Roux. Production by David Cunningham creates the shadowy presence of a leftfield Flying Lizards dubwise depth that adds subtle strangeness to the atmosphere. The result is something raw, full-bodied; full of energy, grace and mystery.