Tuesday 16 April 2019, 7.30pm
Two improvised trio performances from David Toop, Sharon Gal & John Butcher and David Birchall, Andrew Cheetham & John Macedo.
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.
Sharon Gal is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, vocalist and composer, specialising in free improvisation and participatory, collaborative compositions.
She works with voice, electronics, various instruments, field recordings, found audio & video; exploring presence, listening, embodiment, and the relationship between people, sound and space.
Sharon performs solo and in many collaborations including: David Toop, Steve Beresford, Phil Minton, Charles Hayward, Andie Brown, Yoni Silver, Sue Lynch, Blanca Regina, Anat Ben David and Lina Lapelyte.
Since 2007 she has been directing a series of large group, site specific compositions, inviting musicians and non-musicians to take part.
Past performances include The V&A, Science Museum, ICA, The Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Modern & Tate Britain, MACBA, and Colour Out Of Space, Borealis, Supernormal, Supersonic and TUSK festivals.
Sharon's music was released by many labels, including five solo albums and various collaborations.
Her new experimental work, Etudes, a collection of text & colour scores and propositions, presented as a deck of 78 cards, was published in 2021.
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.
Born in Leicester 1981. A musician living and working in Manchester in real time with sound and instruments. This performance practice as an improviser becomes a way to think more widely about how sound functions in space and the built environment. Improvising solo and with others using guitars, objects and non-fixed instrument structures. Performing with many Manchester based/related improvisors including Sam Andreae, Andrew Cheetham, Otto Willberg, Greta Buitkute, THF Drenching, Richard Scott, Philip Marks, Adam Fairhall, Luke Poot, London based Colin Webster and Amsterdam native Rogier Smal. One-offs and random stage/studio collaborations have involved working with figures such as Marshall Allen, Rhys Chatham, Mick Beck, Phil Minton and Mark Sanders.
Drummer from Standish, Lancashire based in Manchester since 2004 with a special interest in improvisation. Appeared on numerous releases with free rock group Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura and offshoot duo Yerba Mansa. Plays and tours regularly with Irma Vep and has performed one-off gigs with Rhys Chatham, Damo Suzuki and others. Toured the UK with Nate Wooley (& H Trio) in 2018 and Alan Wilkinson (as a duo) in 2017. Had tours funded by Arts Council England, Jazz Services & Jazz North’s Northern Line scheme. In 2019 will be touring in a new quartet with Julie Kjaer/David Birchall/Hannah Marshall & in duo with Eugene Chadbourne. Co-organises the monthly gig series Curious Ear in Manchester with David Birchall.
John Macedo is a sound artist and performer from London. He has incorporated everything from acoustic instruments and environmental sound to analogue and computer synthesis into recorded works, live performances and sound installations. He has a pluralistic approach which reveals and highlights the hidden potential in all sounds, environments and technologies, often in intimate, immersive and intuitive ways.
He performs live solo and has collaborated with artists and musicians such as Phil Julian, John Butcher, Graham Dunning, Tom White, Michael Speers, Artur Vidal, Adam Bohman, John Edwards, Lee Fraser, Sue Lynch, Yoni Silver, Steve Noble, Cath Roberts and more. He has had work released by Hideous Replica, Sound Holes, Beartowns Records and a releases small run and object editions on his own label, The Black Plume Editions. He also organises the monthly experimental and improvised music concert series SOLO:DUO:TRIO at the OTO Project Space.