Sunday 30 July 2017, 7.30pm
We're delighted to present a four-day residency with one of the greatest living UK-based improvisers - Pat Thomas. Criminally unheralded, Pat is a fearless and uncompromising player who – despite coming from a background of free improvisation and new music – can feel as close to the worlds of noise and experimental music. His performances range in approach and texture from fearsome cacophony that can sound like a piano having its guts ripped out, with Pat thumping discordant clusters of keys with his fists or rattling the exterior wooden frame; to delicately soothing passages where his fingers glide over the keys, creating microscopic tones and resonant melodies that can hold an entire sonic landscape.
The residency coincides with the release of Pat's new LP - The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari - on our own in-house OTOROKU label, which comprises four typically genre-defying and sonically dexterous pieces from one of the UK's most extraordinary pianists.
"I can't quite think of anyone else who sounds quite like this: it is in a class of its own." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
"Thomas runs the gamut of techniques, splashing clusters, weaving contrapuntal lines and building elaborate structures from the inside out. Despite their variety, they share a fundamental quality – they truly sound like spur of the moment creations, not the final draft of ideas mulled over for weeks, if not months on end." - Bill Shoemaker, Point of Departure
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
Emi Watanabe was born in Japan where she trained in traditional flutes. Emi plays three different types of traditional flutes – Ryuteki, Nohkan and Shinobue. She has been invited to perform with numerous musicians since she moved to the UK in 1995.
A native of Korea, Okkyung Lee has been developing her own voice in a contemporary cello performance, improvisation and composition. with her solid classical training as a foundation, she incorporates jazz, sounds, Korean traditional music, and noise with extended techniques to create her unique blend of music.
Since moving to New York in 2000, she has performed and recorded with numerous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Carla Bozulich, John Butcher, Nels Cline, Chris Corsano, Axel Dörner, John Edwards, Carlos Giffoni, Vijay Iyer, Urs Leimgruber, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Evan Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, C Spencer Yeh and John Zorn to name a few.
Okkyung has released albums on Tzadik, psi, Dancing Wayang, Ecstatic Peace!, Emanem and Editions Mego. She has received a composer commission from New York state council on the arts in 2007 and foundation for contemporary arts grant in 2010.