A2 poster for Peter Brötzmann and Heather Leigh's duo show at OTO on 20 February 2016.
From the original listing...
“Dynamic new pairing of Peter Brötzmann on reeds and Heather Leigh on pedal steel. Though only having performed together for the first time last year, the duo have already crafted a fierce rapport with their powerfully frenetic interplay reminiscient of some of the all-out blast of Brötzmann's Die Like A Dog quartet.
“This music is the purest kind, choosing to usurp notions such as pitch, rhythm or melody in the search for its sounds. Its spontaneity is what can initially draw a listener in, with the default praise for group improvisation being a congratulation of their 'telepathy' or 'chemistry'. The most defining characteristic of Brötzmann's playing - other than his infamously harsh tone - has always been the way in which the pieces come to life around him.” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus”
Peter Brötzmann is one of the most important and uncompromising figures in free jazz and has been at the forefront of developing a unique, European take on free improvisation since the 1960s.
Brötzmann first trained as a painter and was associated with Fluxus (Participating in various events and working as an assistant to Nam Jun Paik) before dissatisfaction with the art world moved his focus towards music. However he continued to paint and his instantly recognisable visual sensibility has produced some of our favourite LP sleeves as well as a number of gallery shows in recent years.
Self-taught on Clarinet and Saxophone, Brötzmann established himself as one of the most powerful and original players around, releasing a number of now highly sought after sides of musical invention including the epochal 'Machine Gun' session in 1968 - originally released on his own Brö private press and later recordings for FMP (Free Music Production) the label he started with Jost Gebers. Brötzmann's sound is "one of the most distinctive, life-affirming and joyous in all music" and he has performed with almost all of the major players of free music from early associations with Don Cherry and Steve Lacy to regular groupings with Peter Kowald, Alex Von Slippenbach, Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove, the Chicago Tentet (Mats Gustafsson/Joe McPhee/Ken Vandermark and more) and various one-off and ad hoc associations with many others including Keiji Haino, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton and Rashied Ali.
The daughter of a coal miner, weaving a trail from West Virginia to Texas and now residing in Scotland, Heather Leigh furthers the vast unexplored reaches of pedal steel guitar. She’s performed and released music since the 1990s as a solo artist and with a wide range of uncompromising collaborators from Peter Brötzmann to Jandek and has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Her playing is as physical as it is phantom, combining spontaneous compositions with a feel for the full interaction of flesh with hallucinatory power sources. With a rare combination of sensitivity and strength, Leigh’s steel mainlines sanctified slide guitar and deforms it using hypnotic tone-implosions, juggling walls of bleeding amp tone with choral vocal constructs and wrenching single note ascensions.
She’s played/performed/released music with Ash Castles On The Ghost Coast, Charalambides, Scorces (a duo with Christina Carter), the Dream/Aktion Unit (a group with Thurston Moore, Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano and Matt Heyner), Taurpis Tula, Jailbreak (a duo with Chris Corsano) and Jandek, as well as collaborated with Peter Brötzmann, Lynda (as Termas), Stefan Jaworyzn (as Annihilating Light), Richard Youngs, Blood Stereo, MV & EE, Robbie Yeats of The Dead C, John Olson of Wolf Eyes, Smegma, Jutta Koether, Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer and many others.