Saturday 9 July 2016, 8pm
Thrilled to present an extremely rare solo percussion set from Keiji Haino, followed by a mouthwatering duo with saxophonist John Butcher – the first time the pair have performed together in the UK.
Haino – the dark enigma of the Japanese avant-garde – has played a couple of incendiary, sold out shows at OTO in the past year and always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of harmonics, multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback.
“What shone through the entire, hour-long performance was the sheer beauty of Keiji Haino’s vision. It doesn’t matter if he’s mauling a guitar, hovering over an air synth or shredding his throat with that punishing vocal style, he’s always himself, always focused and always able to transport his audience.” – Joseph Burnett, London Ears, review of Haino's 2012 OTO performance.
Keiji Haino's 30-year career has encompassed a dizzying range of approaches from wild, guitar-led ensemble rock and near-Neolithic drumming; live electronics, untutored explorations of lute and flute, to voice experiments and extended performances for gamelan and other percussion. He has also collaborated widely with the likes of Derek Bailey, Merzbow, Jim O'Rourke and Tony Conrad. Throughout, Haino has retained a visionary focus upon temporary suspension through noise (and silence) whilst refining a mercurial, highly distinctive method and an arrestingly dramatic on-stage presence that borrows the raiments of performance art.
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.