15–19 June 2016

Photo by Caroline Forbes

Alterations Festival

ALTERATIONS FESTIVAL presents activities around the subject of the group Alterations and explores the related fields of Sound Art and Free Improvisation. 

Alterations - David Toop, Peter Cusack, Terry Day and Steve Beresford - is a quartet of key thinkers and pioneers in music and visual arts. They played many concerts in the years 1977 to 1986 and came back together last year for one very successful concert. In the festival they will come together to collaborate in new contexts.

Supported by Arts Council England and Sound and Music and curated by Blanca Regina and Beresford, the project engages artists and audiences in new ways of making and understanding music and art.   

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ALTERATIONS

The group existed from 1977 to 1986 and played often in festivals and clubs throughout the UK and Europe.          

“The great discovery of Alterations was that musical styles and idioms are there to be played with.” – Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen

They made three LPs in that time 

Alterations on Bead in 1978 
Up Your Sleeve on !Quartz in 1980 
My Favourite Animals on nato (France) in 1984

Their work presented new ways of making and understanding music and art.

In addition there were CDs of various live performances - in 2000, Intuitive Records in Denmark issued Alterations Live and in 2002 Atavistic in the US published Voila Enough! 

In 2015, Alterations was put back together for London performances at Cafe OTO (with Max Eastley) and Iklectik. These events were very succesful and attracted new audiences. 

Alterations Festival is unique opportunity to further enjoy this influential and highly experienced group.

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THE CURATORS

Blanca Regina and Steve Beresford have been working together curating events and performing since 2011.

In 2013, they created Strange Umbrellas - a platform for music, film and art at various venues in London. In 2015 they created Unpredictable Series - a series about Free Improvisation, featuring films, exhibitions, performances, talks, publications, and workshops. They curated two exhibitions in London: ‘Art of Improvisers’ at Oto Project Space and ‘ The Art of Terry Day’ at Iklectik and other related events. http://www.unpredictable.info

Steve Beresford

Steve has been a central figure in the British improvising scene for over thirty years, working with the likes of Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Christian Marclay and, of course, Alterations.

His work with Marclay has included mixed media pieces like ‘Screen Play’, ‘Ephemera’, ‘Graffiti Composition’, ‘Shuffle’, ‘Pianorama’ and ‘Everyday’. He has also written songs, scored feature films, TV shows and commercials.

Steve has worked with hundreds of people, including The Slits, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Ray Davies, Ilan Volkov, The Flying Lizards, Otomo Yoshihide, The Portsmouth Sinfonia and John Zorn.

He has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, composer and producer, and was was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012.

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

Peter Cusack

Peter is a field recordist, musician and sound artist with a long interest in the sound environment. He is currently based in Berlin.

He initiated the ‘Favourite Sounds Project’ to discover what people find positive about their everyday sound environment and ‘Sounds From Dangerous Places’ (sonic journalism) that investigates sites of major environmental damage such as the Caspian Sea oil fields and the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

He produced ‘Vermilion Sounds’ - the environmental sound program - for ResonanceFM Radio and is a research fellow at the London College of Communication. As DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin 2011/12, he intiated ‘Berlin Sonic Places’, examining relationships between soundscapes and urban development. Musical collaborators include Kahondo Style, Clive Bell, Nic Collins and Viv Corringham.

http://favouritesounds.org
http://sounds-from-dangerous-places.org/

Terry Day

Terry is an improviser, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, song writer, visual artist and poet. He is a ‘first generation’ pioneer improviser from the 1960s.

A self-taught musician in a family of musicians, he began improvising on the drums with his brother in 1955. In the early 1960s he formed the Hardy Holman Day trio focusing on free improvisation. Later he became part of Kilburn & the Highroads, a band led by Ian Dury.

Sharing their interest in visual art and painting, Terry and Ian both studied at Walthamstow School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art, London. As an art student in the 1960s he was a pioneer of improvisation, free jazz & experimental music.

Day also formed a duo with Derek Bailey in the late 1960s and was a regular member of The Continuous Music Ensemble, later known as The People Band. Since then he has collaborated with many musical luminaries, groups, dancers, painters, poets and performed in theatre, events, and rock & roll.

http://www.terryday.co.uk/

David Toop

David Toop is a composer, musician, author, a professor and lecturer at the London College of Communication and curator with a particular interest in sound practice, listening and improvisation. He has worked in many fields of sound art and music, including improvisation, sound installations, field recordings, pop music production, and music for television, theatre and dance. He has recorded Yanomami shamanism in the Amazonas, appeared on Top of the Pops, exhibited sound installations in Tokyo, Beijing and London’s National Gallery, and performed with artists ranging from John Zorn, Evan Parker, Bob Cobbing and Ivor Cutler to Akio Suzuki, Elaine Mitchener, Lore Lixenberg and Max Eastley. He has published seven books, including Ocean of Sound, Haunted Weather, and Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener.
He released eight solo albums, including Screen Ceremonies, Black Chamber and Sound Body, and as a critic, has written for publications including The Wire, The Face, Leonardo Music Journal and Bookforum.
Exhibitions he has curated include Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery, London, Playing John Cage at Arnolfini, Bristol, and Blow Up at Flat-Time House, London.
David is a member of CRISAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice).
His opera, Star-shaped Biscuit, was performed as an Aldeburgh’ Faster than Sound project, in September 2012 and his latest book, Into the Maelstrom: Improvised Music and the Pursuit of Freedom, was shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Book Prize in 2017.

http://davidtoopblog.com/