Saturday 20 February 2016, 8pm
Dynamic new pairing of Peter Brötzmann on reeds and Heather Leigh on pedal steel. Though only having performed together for the first time last year, the duo have already crafted a fierce rapport with their powerfully frenetic interplay reminiscient of some of the all-out blast of Brötzmann's Die Like A Dog quartet.
“This music is the purest kind, choosing to usurp notions such as pitch, rhythm or melody in the search for its sounds. Its spontaneity is what can initially draw a listener in, with the default praise for group improvisation being a congratulation of their 'telepathy' or 'chemistry'. The most defining characteristic of Brötzmann's playing - other than his infamously harsh tone - has always been the way in which the pieces come to life around him.” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus
Peter Brötzmann is one of the most important and uncompromising figures in free jazz and has been at the forefront of developing a unique, European take on free improvisation since the 1960s.
Brötzmann first trained as a painter and was associated with Fluxus (Participating in various events and working as an assistant to Nam Jun Paik) before dissatisfaction with the art world moved his focus towards music. However he continued to paint and his instantly recognisable visual sensibility has produced some of our favourite LP sleeves as well as a number of gallery shows in recent years.
Self-taught on Clarinet and Saxophone, Brötzmann established himself as one of the most powerful and original players around, releasing a number of now highly sought after sides of musical invention including the epochal 'Machine Gun' session in 1968 - originally released on his own Brö private press and later recordings for FMP (Free Music Production) the label he started with Jost Gebers. Brötzmann's sound is "one of the most distinctive, life-affirming and joyous in all music" and he has performed with almost all of the major players of free music from early associations with Don Cherry and Steve Lacy to regular groupings with Peter Kowald, Alex Von Slippenbach, Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove, the Chicago Tentet (Mats Gustafsson/Joe McPhee/Ken Vandermark and more) and various one-off and ad hoc associations with many others including Keiji Haino, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton and Rashied Ali.
The daughter of a coal miner, weaving a trail from West Virginia to Texas and now residing in Scotland, Heather Leigh furthers the vast unexplored reaches of pedal steel guitar. Her playing is as physical as it is phantom, combining spontaneous compositions with a feel for the full interaction of flesh with hallucinatory power sources. With a rare combination of sensitivity and strength, Leigh’s steel mainlines sanctified slide guitar and deforms it using hypnotic tone-implosions, juggling walls of bleeding amp tone with choral vocal constructs and wrenching single note ascensions. In recent years Leigh has been touring the world extensively as a solo artist following the release of her studio album, ‘I Abused Animal’ on Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego and in BRÖTZMANN/LEIGH, a duo with Peter Brötzmann, who have released 2 albums, ‘Ears Are Filled With Wonder’ and ‘Sex Tape’ on Trost. A new BRÖTZMANN/LEIGH studio LP/CD is forthcoming in 2018 and she’s currently working on a new solo LP for Editions Mego.