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 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?
Lisa Ullén is one of Sweden’s most influential pianists in contemporary music, and a regular on the free- jazz and improvisational scene. Internationally recognized as a distinctive and uncompromising composer and musician, She has toured in Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan. Ullén now releases her second solo cd , Piano Works – a triple CD of solo piano recordings – as well as the vinyl EP Sekvenser och Lager (Sequences and Layers) with Motståndsorkestern (the Resistance Orchestra), which contains Ullén’s compositions for a bigger band, in which no less than four double basses provide a solid foundation.
“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
”Ullén takes a measured approach at the cusp of improvised music and contemporary classical, with silence also a big player. Cecil Taylor and John Cage might provide touchstones, but what Ullén does cannot be confused with either. ..And through it all resides the sense of a fiercely- focused intelligence at work”. – John Sharpe, All About Jazz 2018
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