Wednesday 12 January 2022, 7.30pm
"In an age when everything appears irreparably phony, fabricated, badly acted out, half an hour of Phil Minton is sufficient to restore a measure of hope in the continuation of something that lives, moves relentlessly, fights. In its own way." – Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
For a long time now Phil Minton has been working as a improvising singer, solo and in groups and situations at various locations all over the place, deserts, quarries, concert halls, pubs, holes, dodgy clubs, containers, up trees, in prisons, on mountains, in churches, under bridges and cafe oto etc.
Phil Minton comes from Torquay. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 60s - Then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the later of part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980′s.
For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as an improvising singer in lots of groups, orchestras, and situations. Numerous composers have written music especially for his extended vocal techniques. He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner and John Butcher, and ongoing duos, trios and quartets with above and many other musicians, including tours with American singer Audrey Chen - with whom he has sang far and wide in the last ten years.
Since the eighties, His Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for anyone who wants to sing, has performed in over twenty countries.
Over decades Roger Turner has brought the renowned volcanic power and finely honed precision of his drum work to ensembles that have often forged real connections with musicians both sides of the Atlantic. In addition he has worked extensively in the microscopic laboratory of the acoustic duo situation where he acquired a highly developed sense of detail and of dynamic control. One of that select group of world-class players who have collectively redefined the language of contemporary percussion. In Turner's hands minute inflections of tension can shape the group's musical direction and galvanise a new level of audience experience.
Veryan Weston (born 1950) was awarded ‘Young Jazz Musician of 1979’ by GLAA. In the '80s, Veryan worked internationally with Lol Coxhill (with whom he made his first recordings – Ogun 525 and Random Radar), the Eddie Prévost Quartet. At this time, he also first met Trevor working in his band Moiré Music which used a unique combination of African rhythmic structures with the European musical tradition (Arc 02).
In the '90s, collaborations with Phil Minton whom he met through Trevor's Moiré Music included the Ways duos, Songs from a Prison Diary awarded the Cornelius Cardew composition prize, a quartet performing extracts from Joyce’s Finnegans wake (with Phil, John Butcher and Roger Turner), and 4Walls with Luc Ex and Michael Vatcher. And most recently - Ways for an Orchestra commissioned by the Angelica Festival (Bologna, Italy - 2017)
Collaborations with Jon Rose on the ‘Temperament Project’ use improvisation with different acoustic keyboards and violins with selected tunings derived from science, history and the imagination. Most recent project has included Hannah Marshall with the Tuning Out Tour (EMANEM double 4141). A trio project with John Edwards and Mark Sanders (EMANEM 4028, 4214, and 4205), the Trio of Uncertainty with cellist Hannah Marshall and violinist Satoko Fukuda (EMANEM 4141), Luc Ex in Sol6 (Red Note 15) which included saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Hannah Marshall in a trio called Haste. (EMANEM 5025).
‘Tessellations’ is an ongoing composition project based around research on pentatonic scales and has produced: 1. Tessellations for piano (EMANEM 4095), 2 a commissioned piece for Austrian singers - the Vociferous Choir (EMANEM 5015), 3 a string quartet, and 4 'The Make Project' – a Toronto-based project commissioned by Canadian Arts (Released – January 2018). An extension of these ideas has been with Hannah Marshall and Mark Sanders. Supported by ACE to produce a CD project now released on Hi4Head called 'Crossings'.
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.
Adrian plays soprano, sopranino and alto saxophones, and is based in London. He can currently be heard playing on the London club scene with a wide range of musicians, including the London Improvisers Orchestra, as well as doing solo saxophone performances.
Adrian also works with film/sound and runs 'Ensemble Kino', a pool of musicians providing live music to film, as well as the yearly Triptik film night events, involving a stellar cast of improvisers.
As well as 'Jazz Thali' (Indo -Greek Jazz fusion) with Harvir Sahota (tabla) and Tasos Stamou (bouzouki), he can also be booked to play Bollywood tunes for weddings, either as solo sax on in a duo with tabla.
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
Audrey Chen is a Chinese-American musician who was born into a family of material scientists, doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago in 1976. Parting ways with the family convention, she turned to the cello at age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music, she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order to discover a more individually honest aesthetic. Now, using the cello, voice and analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of a homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language. Over the past decade, her predominant focus has been her solo work with the cello, voice and electronics, but she has more recently begun to shift back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument. Among musicians, she has worked with Phil Minton, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Ko Ishikawa, Tomomi Adachi, Matana Roberts, Elliott Sharp, Aki Onda, Phill Niblock, Frederic Blondy, Jerome Noetinger, C. Spencer Yeh, Nate Wooley, Mats Gustafsson, Mazen Kerbaj, Michael Zerang, Tatsuya Nakatani, Le Quan Ninh, Joe Mcphee, Susan Alcorn, Michele Doneda, Paolo Angeli, Dylan Nyoukis, Id M Theft Able, plus many more. Recent projects, aside from performing solo, include her voice only duo with London based artist, Phil Minton and a collaborative project with German conceptual artist, John Bock. Two new album releases in 2013 include, a quartet LP with Nate Wooley, C. Spencer Yeh and Todd Carter on Monotype (Warsaw), and a duo record with Phil Minton on Subrosa (Brussels).