Sunday 14 August 2016, 8pm

String Thing (Ian Brighton / Philipp Wachsmann / Marcio Mattos / Trevor Taylor) + Evan Parker / John Russell duo

No Longer Available

We're very happy to welcome the return of the UK veteran improvising guitarist, Ian Brighton, making his first public performance in nearly 40 years alongside old friends, following on from the release of his new album, Now and Then on Confront Recordings.

“Ian Brighton has ploughed his own furrow of free guitar improvisation for over four decades. His first solo album since 1977 finds him summoning voices of his long lost predecessors and farflung collaborators.” – Julian Cowley, The WIRE

Ian Brighton

In the 70’s and 80’s Brighton was very active in guitar improvisation, playing solo and with regular groups such as Balance, with Frank Perry, Colin Wood, Radu Malfatti and Philipp Wachsmann, SME with John Stevens and Trevor Watts, the Tony Oxley quartet and co-founder of the Alternative Music Orchestra with percussionist Trevor Taylor. He also played many concerts with the legendary Lol Coxhill. The majority of his work was with the members of String Thing who are playing together at Cafe OTO for the first time in 27 years.

His recordings were sparse but the second album “Now and Then”, released under his own name this year on Confront Recordings, has been well received and he was also featured in the June issue of the Wire magazine.

“Brighton’s work is the too rarely heard characteristic of exploring the possibilities rather than the probabilities of the sounds of his instrument. And that, above all, is what makes this album important.” – Roger Farbey All-About-Jazz

Evan Parker

"If you've ever been tempted by free improvisation, Parker is your gateway drug." - Stewart Lee 

Evan Parker has been a consistently innovative presence in British free music since the 1960s. Parker played with John Stevens in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation and held a long-standing partnership with guitarist Derek Bailey. The two formed the Music Improvisation Company and later Incus Records. He also has tight associations with European free improvisations - playing on Peter Brötzmann's legendary 'Machine Gun' session (1968), with Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens (A trio that continues to this day), Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, and Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO). 

Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time. 

John Russell

“for Russell the fingerboard is apparently multiple. He finds new tones in the same place, new relationships in the same gesture. A second trip across the fingerboard is always a different excursion. The harmonic is a transparent sound: silence and ambient sound pass through it. It accounts for Russell’s unhurried pace and his sense of order, even when he’s playing fast: there’s simply so much going on.” - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure 

John Russell got his first guitar in 1965 while living in Kent and began to play in and around London from 1971 onwards. An early involvement with the emerging free improvisation scene (from 1972) followed, seeing him play in such places as The Little Theatre Club, Ronnie Scott’s, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Musicians’ Co-Op and the London Musicians’ Collective. 

From 1974 his work extended into teaching, broadcasts (radio and television) and touring in the United Kingdom and, ever extensively, in other countries around the world . He has played with many of the world’s leading improvisers and his work can be heard on over 50 CDs. In 1981, he founded QUAQUA, a large bank of improvisers put together in different combinations for specific projects and, in 1991, he started MOPOMOSO which has become the UK’s longest running concert series featuring mainly improvised music. 

Trevor Taylor

Trevor Taylor has been involved in contemporary and improvised music for over 50 years. As a drummer, he studied under Reg Williams, John Thomson, Frank King and Alan Jackson before embracing the wider aspects of percussion at the London Guildhall under Gilbert Webster, the then principle percussionist with the LSO. He set up his own studio in Southend, creating opportunities for playing and recording with many other improvisers, including Ian Brighton, Frank Perry, Philipp Wachsmann et al. In 1973 he was requested to produce the album Balance for Incus. Following further involvement with, and support from people such as Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, Taylor organised and promoted a series of Music in Our Time concerts, creating a platform for those people and many other local and established improvisors, and contemporary musicians. He has been able to do this for over 40 years from commercial activities in retail music enabling him to found the record company ‘FMR’ (Future Music Records) in 1988. This label is entirely devoted to, and supporting, non-mainstream contemporary and improvised music, producing over 400 different albums, books, DVDS and the AVANT magazine. As a percussionist he is featured on many of the FMR albums, as is Trevor Watts, Veryan Weston, Gary Smith, Paul Dunmall and many other outstanding improvising musicians. In his own right he is an outstanding soloist, using a varied range of acoustic instrumentation obtained from all over the world, as well as specially developed electronic sources. Within an improvised environment he has developed a unique ability to play with precision and sensitivity creating sound sheets of percussive colours, while retaining empathy for the group and individuals within it. Currently he performs with contemporary jazz groups iZephyr, the Power Trio, ‘Chenenko’, ‘Cyborg’, ‘Aero’, ‘Unlimited’, ‘Torus’ and ‘Avanti’ and, in the improvisation groups, ‘Circuit and String Thing. Circuit, formed in 2005, for exploratory electronic and electro acoustic music includes artists such as Paul Dunmall, Pat Thomas, Paul Rogers et al, while with String Thing, formed in 1975,has always been a meeting ground of old friends. The last FMR recording “Eleven Years from Yesterday” was in 1989 and the next is due out later this year.

Philipp Wachsmann

Philipp Wachsmann, who came from a classical background in violin and in contemporary composition, has been occupied with the development of music and improvisation since 1970. For many years he ran workshops at the West Square Music studio that impacted on many young musicians.

He worked with others including significant groups of the time, Chamberpot, Balance and String Thing (with Ian Brighton and also with Marcio Mattos and Trevor Taylor in the latter), and Company. He was asked to join the Musician’s Co-operative (then in its last years), and was in the London Musicians Collective from its start.

He is an active participant in the Bead Record Label (started by Peter Cusack and Simon Mayo), which is still producing new music over 40 years later, managed by him and Mathew Hutchinson.

Regarded by many as an outstanding improviser of great invention, he has always been able to create new approaches within improvised music utilising acoustic and electronic sources. He considers himself to be “fortunate to have toured with Derek Bailey, Christine Jeffries, and Frank Perry in the 70’s, and more recently with Evan Parker’s Electro-acoustic Ensemble”. He can be heard on over 100 LP’s & CD’s - groups including, King Ubu, the LJCO, Iskra 1903, Stellari String Quartet, Duos with Paul Lytton (ECM and Bead), Lawrence Casserley, Matthew Hutchinson and Roger Turner. Most recently he has been working in the group RSIK with Michael Bunce (electronics and sound taken from painting by artist, Catherine Hope-Jones).

Currently he states that:-

“I am concerned with innovation, the violin and what it might do, with intent, perception and memory, with construction defining space, issues of continuity, whether communication needs to be prescriptive, the potential for the roles of listeners to be more active and nonetheless the multitudinal ways individuals hear and listen including the spontaneous non-intellectual.”

Marcio Mattos

Since coming to London in the early 70’s Marcio Mattos has performed, recorded and broadcast both in Britain and abroad with most exponents of the Improvised Music world: Evan Parker, John Stevens, John Surman, Roswell Rudd, Dewey Redman, Roscoe Mitchell and Marylin Crispell amongst many others.

He has also worked with the dance companies Ballet Rambert and The Extemporary Dance Theatre Company as well as electro-acoustic music groups such as the West Square Electronic Music Ensemble, where he developed his own electronic treatment of the double bass and cello both in recording and live performance. It was at West Square he started working with Philipp Wachsmann and Ian Brighton initially, in the trio BM&W and then later, with the addition of percussionist Trevor Taylor, the quartet String Thing.

Such is the diversity of his playing, this highly “in demand” musician was also in many of the late Elton Dean formations, as well as being a long-standing member of numerous Eddie Prevost ensembles. His capability, attitude and flexibility led to his involvement in various international projects, mainly in Europe, including the “Bardo State Orchestra” - a project with Tibetan monks and Jim Dvorak, various projects with Georg Graewe, Tony Oxley’s Celebration Orchestra, “AXON” with Phil Minton/ Fred van Hove and Martin Blume and “LINES” with Phil Wachsmann/ Jim Denley/ Martin Blume and Axel Dorner.

His current projects include, a duo with Shakuhachi player Shiku Yano, the string quartet “Gocce Stellari” with Charlotte Hug, John Edwards and Phil Wachsmann and ‘ABAETETUBA’ with Panda Gianfratti, Thomas Rohrer and Rodrigo Montoya as well as his continued involvement as a permanent member of ‘LIO’, the London Improviser’s Orchestra.

Marcio Mattos is a much travelled and experienced improviser who can readily adapt and excel in every musical environment both on Double Bass and Cello. His “success”, in this respect, is primarily due to the high level of commitment he makes in every situation faced. His presence can be heard in very many released CD’s and especially in his latest solo recordings, “SOL[os]’ (EMANEM 5035)

“Mattos is a creative genius…his invention is unparalleled, as is his musicianship.” – Marc Medwin, review in ‘The Squid’s Ear