Thursday 20 June 2024, 7.30pm

Unpredictable series presents: Papermaking Music: Gino Robair ‘Radical Divination

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Unpredictable series presents “Papermaking Music’ conducted by Gino Robair featuring two sets where a small orchestra with Steve Beresford, Poulomi Desai, BeibeiWang, Charlotte Keeffe, Khabat Abbas, Gina Southgate, and Blanca Regina perform Robair’s genuine scores.

Gino Robair’s Radical Divination (2023) explores performance as a form of augury. During the event, two papermakers interact through game-based structures to create graphic scores interpreted by musicians using systems modelled after historical divination practices (which take into account multi-modal sensory input—sight, sound, texture). Interactive concepts embedded in the piece help create feedback paths and foster emergent properties that extend the score and shape the performance in organic, yet unpredictable ways.

In the second set, the musical ensemble will perform Robair’s The Amanuensis (2014), featuring artist Gina Southgate. In this work, specially prepared texts are filtered through the amanuensis, which captures spoken language as visual elements that influence ensemble improvisation.

Gino Robair

Gino Robair’s artistic practice examines how systems of human interaction are influenced by perceptions of materiality. His PhD research at the University of California, Davis focuses on papermaking as a form of embodied choreography; a performative process that puts artists in conversation with their tools, materials (plant fiber, water), and ambient environment (air temperature and humidity). The results of this interaction are ephemeral memory objects carrying traces of their materialization that can be used as resources for interpretation within a performance context. As a composer and percussionist, Gino has recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, John Butcher, Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Otomo Yoshihide, and the ROVA Saxophone Quartet. His opera, I, Norton, based on the life of the self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States, has been performed throughout North America and Europe.
https://www.ginorobair.com

Steve Beresford

Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British and international spontaneous music scenes for over forty years, freely improvising on the piano, electronics, and other things with people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, John Zorn, and Alterations (with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack).

He has written songs, written for large and small ensembles, and scored short films, feature films, TV shows, and commercials. He was part of the editorial teams of Musics and Collusion magazines, writes about music in various contexts, and was a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. With Blanca Regina, he is part of Unpredictable Series, which produces events and sound and video recordings of experimental music and art.

Steve has worked with Christian Marclay on numerous Marclay mixed media pieces. He has also worked with The Slits, Najma Akhtar, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Tania Chen, Ray Davies, Mandhira De Saram, The Flying Lizards, Zeena Parkins, The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Ilan Volkov, Rachel Musson, Vic Reeves, Lore Lixenberg and many others.

Beresford has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, free-improviser, composer and producer, and was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012. In 2021, Bloomsbury published a book by Andy Hamilton: ‘Pianos, Toys, Music and Noise: Conversations with Steve Beresford’.

http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mberes.html

Poulomi Desai

Poulomi Desai's unique, modified sitar embraces elements of chance, challenge and subversion - industrial, noise influenced improvised, art performances. Her prepared / bowed sitar is extended with modified cassette decks playing her field recordings, circuit bent toys, optikinetic instruments, kitchen knives, axes and massage tools. It is a conscious response and reaction to the idea of 'authenticity' seeking to break the rules and expectations of how a 'sacred' instrument should be played, the strictures upon the player, the guru-shishya approach, and the assumptions made upon the identity of the player herself. Her sitar is the primary basis for sonic improvisation and exploration; an allegorical antidote to the objectification of the 'South Asian woman's body' in 'Bollywood' cinema / 'popular culture' and, in a broader sense, affirming her idea of 'Noise' as protest. She runs the Usurp Art space in the suburbs and is currently the Curator of the Grunwick strike exhibition.

www.poulomidesai.tumblr.com | www.usurp.org.uk

Beibei Wang

Beibei Wang is a uniquely vibrant percussion talent. With a background in both Classical and traditional Chinese percussion, she brings characteristic flair and dynamism to her performances, presenting repertoire as diverse as contemporary classical to free improvisation with equal elegance.
Beibei has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as BBC Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra dell’ Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and lead the BBC Concert Orchestra on their 2018 China tour. She has appeared as soloist on some of the world’s most prestigious stages including the Barbican Centre, Elbphilharmonie, Grafenegg Festival, and Southbank Centre.
http://beibeimusic.com/

Charlotte Keeffe

Keeffe’s debut album ‘Right Here, Right Now’ is where you’ll find her exhibiting a passion for vibrant soundscapes rendered in live spaces. Released in 2021, also on Discus Music, she earned critical acclaim carving out a niche on the imprint. She also composes and performs for a number of the roster’s artists, including; Hi Res Heart, Carla Diratz and Julie Tippetts. She also co-leads Anthropology Band with the head of Discus Music, Martin Archer.

To date, her music has been featured significantly on BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM and BBC Radio 6, where she's been described as a 'prolific', 'dynamic' and 'excellent improviser!', by the likes of Corey Mwamba, Stuart Maconie and Jez Nelson. Keeffe is a Serious Artist and part of Serious’ Take Five 2022 cohort. She performed a duet with the mighty City of London as part of world-renowned trumpeter Dave Douglas' Festival of New Trumpet Music 2022.

Harnessing the power of art for social change is a crucial part of Keeffe’s musical identity: she has served as Assistant Musical Director of the London Gay Big Band, champions gender and diversity equality, as part of the Parliamentary award-winning Women in Jazz Media team, and played in Marin Alsop's Taki Concordia Orchestra at the World Economic Forum 2019, in front of world leaders and celebrities including Sir David Attenborough.

From stepping on Glastonbury and Wilderness stages alongside Charlotte Church, Laura Mvula and Kate Nash, to broadcasting to an international audience live from her bathroom during the pandemic, Keeffe understands that embracing individuality and letting go of inhibitions is the surest way to grasp the transformative power of music.

“Keeffe shows notable strength of character as she runs the sonic and emotional gamut..." - Kevin Le Gendre, JAZZWISE

https://www.charlottekeeffe.com

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. 

www.khabatabas.com

Blanca Regina

Blanca Regina is an interdisciplinary artist, tutor, and independent curator who works with spontaneous composition systems creating multimedia landscapes using voice, objects, electronics, and visuals. She is also looking at book arts, immersive media, and design. She has produced three albums with Beresford, mixed and mastered by Dave Hunt in London, ‘What Blue’ (2020) Duets with Steve Beresford; ‘Duets with Blanca Regina, Spontaneous Music’ featuring duets with Leafcutter John, Jack Goldstein, John Butcher, Benedict Taylor, Matthias Kispert, Aneek Thapar, Steve Beresford, Sharon Gal, and Hyelim Kim; ‘Art of Improvisers’ (2017) a collection album with several artists concentrating in women improvisers. With longtime collaborator and artist Leafcutter John capturing their live performances in 2017 they created ‘Miga’ a limited edition Pendrive and digital release. Other collaborations include with Matthias Kispert, DFuse, Peter Cusack, Matt Black, Wade Matthews, Terry Day, Adriana Camacho, and David Toop.

www.blancaregina.com

Gina Southgate

Gina Southgate is primarily a live painter, best known on the international jazz scene where she produces spectacular, qualitative, real-time paintings. For over three decades she's painted at gigs and festivals capturing the vitality and nuance in her unique portraits of world-class musicians.

She also performs creating real-time audio/visual interactive artworks with improvising musicians. Coming up through the world of freely improvised music and spontaneous site-specific performance happenings on the avant-garde fringe in the 90's Southgate was encouraged by the inclusivity of that scene to perform herself. In this role, she creates and manipulates site-specific artworks with paint, props and objects. These are chosen for their absurdist qualities as well as for their visual and sculptural potential and their sonic abilities. She explores in performance the futility and irony of domesticity and labour. Southgate's degree training in metalwork and its necessary long-winded skills served as a springboard and a catalyst to a world where art is made in and of the moment, fuelled by and aligned with the musicians she interacts with.

She currently performs in duos with Maggie Nicols and Charles Hayward and had a longstanding duo with the late John Russell.

artistginasouthgate.com