4–6 May 2019
A celebration of David Toop's 70th birthday and the launch of his autobiography – Flutter Echo – published by Ecstatic Peace Library.
David Toop has become one of our most significant touchstones of contemporary music writing and reportage. Employing intensified studies into World Music in relation to popular (as well as marginalized) contemporary trends, Toop has created one of the most distinctive publishing histories of modern music thinking for our times. Flutter Echo is his memoir of a life enchanted with all aspects of music both composed and abstract. Toop's personal growth as a practicing musician, visual artist, and witness to some of the most significant events in modern music history is a completely fascinating view into a world of considered thought and random access. From recording for Brian Eno's Obscure Records imprint in 1975 to co-publishing the radical music magazines Musics and Collusion to developing music programming for BBC to releasing recordings he personally made of Yanomami Shaman rituals to working with artists such as creative pop icon Bjoerk and Jamaican dub pioneer Prince Far-I, Toop has experienced one of the most interesting and dynamic timelines in the dynamic world of our contemporary sound world. Player, listener, scholar, reporter, communitarian, parent, iconoclast - David Toop brings his own life in music to focus in a remarkable, wonder-filled, engaging read.
David Toop (born 1949) has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. This encompasses improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. It includes seven acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016) and forthcoming - Flutter Echo, a memoir first published in Japan in 2017 (May 2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2020). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released thirteen solo albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments on Brian Eno’s Obscure label (1975) and Sound Body on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label (2006) to Entities Inertias Faint Beings (2016). His 1978 Amazonas recordings of Yanomami shamanism and ritual were released on Sub Rosa as Lost Shadows (2016). In recent years his collaborations include Rie Nakajima, Akio Suzuki, Tania Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and a revived Alterations, the iconoclastic improvising quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and Terry Day first formed in 1977. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in 2012. He is currently Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.