Tuesday 25 February 2020, 7.30pm
David Knight and Stephen Thrower, build their long, ceaselessly evolving musical compositions through a process of improvisation, followed by careful editing and processing. Their music, drawn from subconscious associations while recording, is frequently aquatic or oceanic in overall mood and texture. Knight has spent most of his life living on the banks of the Thames while Thrower resides on the East Sussex coast, and their musical flights of imagination tend toward rolling river dynamics and open seas of synthesized sound. For UnicaZürn, tidal imagery, oceanic forms and the slow rhythms of coastal water are a recurring structural presence, with strong associations of rootlessness, of being far away from home... Both Thrower and Knight draw upon their love and wide experience of electronic music, from the outer shores of Stockhausen to the outer space-ways of Tangerine Dream. In addition, Knight is renowned for his pioneering multi-textured fretwork with Danielle Dax and his ambient guitar settings for Lydia Lunch, while Thrower's reed playing provided a distinctive melancholy in Coil and emerged as electro-acoustic texture in Cyclobe. – Ivan Pavlov
Zachary Paul (b. 1995) is a Los Angeles-based violinist and composer interested in perception, the transportive nature of long durations, and trance states. His work explores the contrast between stasis and movement and questions the possibility of depicting both synchronously. In live performance, he builds lush soundscapes via improvisation, representing his immediate experience & the space being performed in. His work draws from a long lineage of artists exploring sustained tones within organic performance, including Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, and La Monte Young. Zachary is represented by Touch Music and currently a participant in Touch's curated mentorship program.
‘First coming to prominence with hugely-acclaimed 2012 LP The Ghosts Of Bush, Howlround have now expanded to a sextet (four machines, two people) and create recordings and performances entirely from manipulating natural acoustic sounds on vintage reel-to-reel tape machines, with additional reverb or electronic effects strictly forbidden – a process that has seen their work compared to William Basinski, Philip Jeck, Morton Feldman and even the sculptures of Rachel Whiteread’.
In an age where one can create all manner of electronic music with a simple swipe of a mouse, Howlround prove not only how much fun is to be had in making things complicated again, but conversely just how little effort is sometimes needed to create a genuinely uncanny and beguiling sound-world: the rough underbelly of our pristine, Pro-Tools universe. Since then, they have released four more LPs – 2013’s Secret Songs Of Savamala, recorded almost entirely in a flooded basement in wintry Serbia, 2014’s Torridon Gate, which was created using an ordinary suburban garden gate, 2015’s Tales From The Black Tangle and 2017’s A Creak In Time. They have also released tracks on numerous compilations and one side of a split album The Blow vol. 2.
Bill Thompson is a sound artist and composer whose work has been performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad.
A native of Texas, he relocated to the UK in 2004 to pursue a PhD in Composition. Since then he has received numerous awards and commissions including the PRS for New Music ATOM award, the GAVAA visual arts award, a PRS for New Music Three Festival commission, the 2010 Aberdeen Visual Arts Award, and was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Award in 2012.
As an artist, he has a particular interest in perception and embodied presence. His installations and performances frequently utilize found objects, field recordings, repurposed live electronics, and digital media to create environments that encourage active attention to each moment. He applies this same strategy within his compositional work which often include long sustained tones, densely layered textures, and indeterminate or improvised structures. He has written for a range of instruments including voice, guitar, contrabass, bagpipe, percussion, organ, string quartet, mixed ensembles and live electronics. As a solo performer he works primarily with live electronics although originally trained as a guitarist.