Wednesday 1 May 2024, 7.30pm


No Longer Available

This concert is a celebration of Trio Sowari’s twentieth anniversary. The group will be joined by a trio featuring Maggie Nicols, Khabat Abas and Mark Wastell.

Trio Sowari brings together three musicians who have developed a very personal approach to their instrument. Respectively based in London, Paris and Berlin, Phil Durrant, Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins never cease to widen the scope of their research at the crossroads of different acoustic and electronic worlds. Beyond the rigour of their improvisations, their music is nourished by multiple influences and the countless collaborations they have with artists from all horizons. Trio Sowari thus becomes a space in perpetual mutation where different currents of experimental music meet and in which asymmetrical concretions are formed, marking out an unpredictable topography.

The members of Trio Sowari have been involved with groups such as Mimeo, The Seen, Hubbub and Polwechsel. They have released albums on dozens of labels including Potlatch, Erstwhile, Matchless, Another Timbre, Mikroton, Confront, HatHut, For4Ears, Emanem, Leo a.m.o

Trio Sowari’s fourth album will be released later this year.

"This is disciplined, focused music, the sound of people really thinking and playing, and close attention is consistently rewarded." – Clive Bell, The Wire

The ongoing duo of Maggie Nicols and Mark Wastell performed with Matilda Rolfsson at All Ears, Oslo in 2023, resulting in a recording released on Confront - . Tonight they are joined by ‘cellist Khabat Abas for a first time quartet.

- Phil Durrant / semi-modular synth
- Bertrand Denzler /tenor saxophone
- Burkhard Beins / acoustic and amplified percussion, objects

SET 2:
- Maggie Nicols / voice, taps, hand percussion
- Khabat Abas / ‘cello
- Mark Wastell / percussion, cymbals, frame drum

Phil Durrant

Born near London in 1957, Phil Durrant is a multi-instrumentalist improviser/composer/sound artist who currently performs solo and group concerts.

As a violinist (and member of the Butcher/Russell/Durrant trio), he was one of the key exponents of the "group voice approach" style of improvised music. In the late 90s, his trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn represented a shift to a more “reductionist” approach.

Recently, he has been performing solo and duo concerts with Bill Thompson, Mark Wastell, using a modular synthesizer system. As a mandolinist, he has been performing and recording with guitarist Martin Vishnick, mandolinist Richard Scott and drummer Emil Karlsen.

Durrant still performs regularly with the acoustic/electronic group Trio Sowari (with Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins) and Mark Wastell’s The SEEN.

Burkhard Beins

Burkhard Beins, born 1964 in Lower Saxony, lives in Berlin since 1995. As a composer/performer working in the fields of experimental music and sound art he is known for his definitive use of percussion in combination with selected sound objects. Furthermore, he works with live-electronics/analog synthesizers and has conceived several sound installations.

Since the late 1980's he is performing at internationally renowned venues and festivals throughout Europe, America, Australia and Asia as diverse as the LMC Festival (London), Int. Ferienkurse (Darmstadt), SKIF (St. Petersburg), Musiktage (Donaueschingen), Musique Action (Nancy), Choppa Festival (Singapore), Cave 12 (Geneva), The Now now (Sydney), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Kaleidophon (Ulrichsberg), Kid Ailack Music Hall (Tokyo), Gaudeamus Festival (Amsterdam), Liquid Architecture (Australia), Meteo (Mulhouse), Taktlos (CH), Berghain (Berlin), Konfrontationen (Nickelsdorf), Serralves (Porto), Wien Modern (Vienna), MoMA (New York), New Music Festival (Hanoi), Irtijal (Beirut), or Maerzmusik (Berlin).

Alongside his solo work he is a member of the ensembles Polwechsel, Activity Center, The Sealed Knot, Perlonex, Sawt Out, Trio Sowari, Junk Orbit, Fracture Mechanics, and Splitter Orchester and also works with composers/musicans such as Sven-Åke Johansson, Andrea Neumann, Keith Rowe, Axel Dörner, Tarek Atoui, Chris Abrahams, John Tilbury, or Charlemagne Palestine.

Burkhard Beins gives workshops based on his graphic score system Adapt/Oppose, has published several articles on music theory, and is a co-editor of the book “Echtzeitmusik Berlin – Self-Defining a Scene” as well as the curator of a follow-up 3CD compilation featuring the Berlin Echtzeitmusik scene. Meanwhile he has released more than 50 CDs and LPs on labels like Zarek, Erstwhile, 2:13 Music, Hat Hut, Potlatch, Absinth, alt.vinyl, God Records, Mikroton, or Confront.

Bertrand Denzler

Bertrand Denzler is a Swiss and French improviser/composer/saxophonist.

He has toured extensively in Europe, North and South America and Asia, solo or with groups and ensembles such as Sbatax, Trio Sowari, Hubbub, Onceim, Denzler-Grip-Johansson, The Lair, The Seen, Zoor, Denzler- Guionnet-Mattin-Unami, Baron-Denzler-Guionnet-Rives, Denzler-Koch, Sunny Murray Duo/Trio as well as with countless other musicians.

He has taken part́ in over a hundred discographic publications on some fifty labels including Potlatch, Matchless, Mikroton, Confront, Umlaut, Insub, For 4 Ears, Creative Sources, Ambiances Magnétiques or Leo.

He has composed pieces for numerous performers and ensembles, as well as for film and theatre. He has also worked with artists from other disciplines (dance, sculpture, video, poetry, performance).

He has published texts on music, including "The Practice of Musical Improvisation" (Bloomsbury Academic) in collaboration with J.-L. Guionnet and "27 questions for a start" in collaboration with B. Beins and Ph. Durrant.
He has also organised concerts, given lectures (e.g. at Ircam), and led improvisation workshops (e.g. at Instants Chavirés).

Maggie Nicols

Maggie Nicols joined London's legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 as a free improvisation vocalist. She then became active running voice workshops with an involvement in local experimental theatre. She later joined the group Centipede, led by Keith Tippets and in 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. She continues performing and recording challenging and beautiful work, in music and theatre, either in collaborations with a range of artists (Irene Schweitzer, Joelle Leandre, Ken Hyder, Caroline Kraabel) as well as solo.

Khabat Abas

Khabat Abas, cellist and composer from Kurdistan-Iraq. Her work explores the experience of sound, from music to the everyday sounds and noises we hear. It’s a deep dive into how we experience sound, especially in the context of different geopolitical situations. She uses her instrument beyond traditional norms. Khabat improvises, composes, creates sound installations, uses different materials to make a cello, and uses her body, and she challenges conventional musical values and control.

Mark Wastell

Mark Wastell is a versatile improvising musician who has played a central role in the British improvised music scene for over a quarter of a century. He has performed and recorded extensively and his varied resume includes projects with Derek Bailey, Phil Durrant, John Butcher, Lasse Marhaug, Rhodri Davies, Simon H. Fell, Burkhard Beins, John Tilbury, Mattin, Mark Sanders, Tony Conrad, Evan Parker, Tim Barnes, Bernhard Günter, Keith Rowe, John Zorn, Peter Kowald, Joachim Nordwall, Otomo Yoshihide, Paul Dunmall, David Toop, Alan Wilkinson, Max Eastley, Hugh Davies, Julie Tippetts, Alan Skidmore, Mike Cooper, Chris Abrahams, Stewart Lee, Clive Bell, Arild Andersen, Jan Bang, Maggie Nicols, Thurston Moore and David Sylvian.