Monday 23 March 2020, 8.30pm
Incredibly pleased to welcome the phenomenal improvising musician and vocalist, Elaine Mitchener for a solo set, plus a very special Messiaen performance from performer, composer and arranger, Kerry Yong, live-streamed from an empty Cafe OTO.
“Bravest of all were the vocalist Elaine Mitchener and the double bassist Neil Charles (the Charles Mitchener duet), who launched into two exhilarating, mind-bogglingly freewheeling improvisations. The second turned into a cry, a scream, a lament for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.” – Rebecca Franks, The Times
Born and raised in East London of Jamaican heritage Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocalist, movement artist and composer, who encompasses improvisation, contemporary/experimental music theatre and dance. She has worked and collaborated with numerous leading artists including Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother), Mark Padmore, George E. Lewis, The Otolith Group, Sonia Boyce, Tansy Davies, Hamid Drake, Van Huynh Company, Apartment House, David Toop, London Sinfonietta, Steve Beresford, Christian Marclay, Phil Minton, Ensemble Manufaktur für aktuelle Musik, William Parker, Alexander Hawkins. She is founder of collective electroacoustic trio The Rolling Calf with saxophonist Jason Yarde and bassist Neil Charles.
“Elaine Mitchener has ACHIEVED A MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGE ; She has created a dauntingly vivid theatrical evocation of deep and prolonged collective pain in such a way as to bring out OUR emotional empathy fundamental to communication. She has not aimed for ‘beautiful art’ but her unblinking honesty and the ultrasensitive resonance of her three musical companions, has parAdoxically created something of real, visceral beauty- art,in fact.” – Robert Wyatt THE WIRE
“SWEET TOOTH is a vital black British addition to those seminal creative statements of resistance and defiance from the African Diaspora.” (Kevin Le Genre, Jazzwise)
Kerry Yong is a performer, composer and arranger based in east London. He trained as a pianist and now also performs on keyboards and electronics. His piano repertoire includes unusual classical repertoire (such as the Alkan’s arrangement of Mozart’s D minor Concerto K 466 for solo piano), new compositions, and his own project Cover Me Cage: electronic arrangements of various prepared piano works by John Cage.
He performs in groups such as Apartment House, Plus-Minus Ensemble and WeSpoke, and has appeared in many new music festivals including Audiograft, Borealis, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, LCMF, MaerzMusik, ISCM World Music Days, Ultima; in series such as Kammer Klang, Music We’d Like To Hear and NonClassical; on BBC Radio and recording labels Another Timbre and Wirripang.
Kerry studied piano with Stephanie McCallum in Sydney and completed a doctorate at the Royal College of Music in London studying piano with Andrew Ball. He is also Director of Music of Grace Church Hackney, where they are happy to use ancient chants, traditional hymns and new works with choirs, bands, electronics, objects and the like.