Sunday 11 December 2016, 8pm
Great to host the first OTO performance of an improvising quartet consisting of Lisa Ullén, Matilda Rolfsson, Maggie Nicols and John Edwards – four singular artists who craft myriad sonic forms from piano, voice, percussion and bass.
Maggie Nicols joined London's legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 as a free improvisation vocalist. She then became active running voice workshops with an involvement in local experimental theatre. She later joined the group Centipede, led by Keith and Julie Tippets and in 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. She lives in Wales and continues performing and recording challenging and beautiful work, in music and theatre, either in collaborations with a range of artists (Irene Schweitzer, Joelle Leandre, Ken Hyder, Caroline Kraabel) as well as solo.
Matilda Rolfsson is a Swedish percussionist / free improviser, based in Trondheim Norway. During the spring 2015 she was temporarily based in London where she finished her masters in free improvisation and the relationship between improvised music and dance at Trinty Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. During her London stay Matilda got the chance to meet and play with some of Londons most efficient improvisers: Phil Minton, Sylvia Hallett and London Improvisers Orchestra with Maggie Nichols.
With her 20, vintage Gretsch base drum, tibetan bowls, gongs, bells and plastic isolations, sticks, fingers and brushes Matilda explores the free improvisation and the instant compositions shaped in the moment, dynamics, orchestrations- structure and chaos. To make rules and break rules, always with the question: where’s the music going, and where's the freedom?
A native of Seoul, Korea, the pianist Lisa Ullén grew up in the northern part of Sweden, and is based in Stockholm. A versatile player with a singular musical vision, Ullén has repeatedly proven her ability to imprint her absolute sense for tonal texture on whatever musical context she appears in. Besides working as a soloist and leader of her own groups, Ullén has collaborated extensively with many well-known Swedish artists and dancers, and has also scored several dramatic productions. She's also performed and recorded music by contemporary composers.
“Extraordinary is all I can say as I dive in to her unique approach. /…/Amazing piano, some of it prepared, which should appeals to fans of John Cage as well as of Cecil Taylor.” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment