Wednesday 29 January 2020, 7.30pm
“There’s an ancient sense of purity to this music which seems a cut above any similar projects... These are haunted folk rituals feeling around deep inside the human psyche, grasping for rarely reached zones and nostalgia for submerged inherited memories.” – The Quietus
Jim White and George Xylouris have been friends since Jim’s early days in Dirty Three. Their musical connection goes back to then and led them to start Xylouris White in 2013. Since then, they have released three albums and been touring the world. The Sisypheans is their fourth release.
Jim on The Sisypheans:
“As George Xylouris and I traveled around these last five years, we found ourselves talking about Sisyphus. George had a theory about Sisyphus, condemned to climb that hill with that rock forever. George saw him carrying the rock in different ways, in his left hand, behind his back, pushing it with his head while crawling and noticing each journey the seasons changing, the grass and the insects. The meaning was clear and for George it fit with playing the popular Cretan song “Proto Hanoti” many turns each day for his life and discovering it new each time . . . I found it fit in with a long held set of thoughts I’d had, that if one concentrated activity and thought enough on one thing it would expand and be a whole world. It sounded like the same idea and also with the idea of first principles, for it to be new each time: that is our job as musicians. We would talk about this as we traveled playing music. One day a waitress heard us talking, and she asked if we knew the Camus essay about Sisyphus. We didn’t, but I got it in English and then we found it in Greek and it fit too. When we were playing in Louisville and working on Black Peak, we stayed at a house and saw the artwork you see on the cover, by Elsa Hansen Oldham . . .We’d finished the circular trilogy of Goats, Black Peak, and Mother and we found ourselves making –. What we do leads us to who we are, the Sisypheans.”
Charles Hayward is an English drummer/singer/composer and was a founding member of the experimental rock groups This Heat and Camberwell Now. He also played with early European improv group Mal Dean's Amazing Band and gigged and recorded with Phil Manzanera in Quiet Sun as well as a short stint with Gong. Since the late 80's he has concentrated on solo projects and collaborations, including Massacre (with Bill Laswell and Fred Frith), Monkey Puzzle Trio and Albert Newton (with Pat Thomas and John Edwards). The project This Is Not This Heat has recently completed a 3 year series of performances in UK, Europe, US and Japan.
Throughout a nearly 50 year career Charles has developed idiosyncratic attitudes and insights into a wide range of soundwork, spanning improvisation, song, sound as sound, using order and chaos as creative energies. He curates a six monthly series of performances, workshops and installation called Charles Hayward Presents on behalf of Lewisham Arthouse for Albany Theatre. Recent releases include ‘Objects of Desire’ cassette on Blank Editions and the piano centred song cycle ‘Begin Anywhere’ on Klanggalerie & God Unknown Records.
“As impassioned and animated offstage as behind his massive drumkit, Charles Hayward radiates a genuine intensity. He first came to wide attention as drummer with the highly influential This Heat as the embers of Post-Punk simmered off into wilder experimental tangents. He has released a dozen solo and colaborative albums, and puts on rare solo live shows which pull the raw muscular percussion at the heart of Rock into new shapes with devastatingly powerful results.” – Freq
"Telepathic magic……. Hayward is one of the most life-affirming people who stalks this dark globe." - SOUND PROJECTOR