7–17 May 2015, 5–6pm, OTO Project Space
In the Art of Improvisers Group Show we are presenting the art and archives of some of the pioneers of free improvisation in London.
The exhibition will feature content by the musicians and artists:
Terry Day / artwork
Evan Parker / collages and photos
Steve Beresford / archives
George Khan / clothes
David Toop / archives
Max Eastley / sculpture
Gina Southgate / paintings
Plus video and film extracts from various artists.
Curated by Blanca Regina with Steve Beresford.
Opening times 1–6pm (except opening show & workshops that will be at other times).
Thursday 7th May – Exhibition opening: 5–8pm (includes acoustic short performances by artists TBC)
Saturday 9th May – Round Table and Q&A at Cafe OTO Project Space.
'A timeline with diverse viewpoints, and overview of free improvisation and artists involved 60s up to today.’
Speakers: Terry Day, David Toop, Steve Beresford. Drawing the timeline: Gina Southgate
Timing: 5.30–7pm. Free Entry. Limited space, RSVP – email@example.com
Sunday 10th May – Workshop at Cafe OTO Project Space - Material Studies with Matthias Kispert and Blanca Regina.
Timing: From 11am-1pm
Free. Max 8 participants. Book – firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 16th May – Workshop: Terry Day’s techniques for playing balloons and self-made pipes.
Timing: From 11am-1pm.
Max 8 participants. Book – email@example.com
Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British and international spontaneous music scenes for over forty years, freely improvising on the piano, electronics and other things with people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, John Zorn and Alterations (with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack).
He has written songs, written for large and small ensembles, and scored short films, feature films, TV shows and commercials. He was part of the editorial teams of Musics and Collusion magazines, writes about music in various contexts and was a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. With Blanca Regina, he is part of Unpredictable Series, which produces events and sound and video recordings of experimental music and art.
Steve has worked with Christian Marclay on numerous Marclay mixed media pieces. He has also worked with The Slits, Najma Akhtar, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Tania Chen, Ray Davies, Mandhira De Saram, The Flying Lizards, Zeena Parkins, Satoko Fukuda, The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Ilan Volkov, Rachel Musson, Vic Reeves, Sarah Gail Brand, Lore Lixenberg and many others.
Beresford has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, free-improviser, composer and producer, and was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012.
Terry Day is a first generation pioneer improviser from the 1960s: an improviser, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, songwriter, visual artist and poet.
A self-taught musician in a family of musicians, he began improvising on the drums with his brother in 1955. In the early ‘60s he formed the Hardy Holman Day trio, focusing on free improvisation. Later he became part of the band Kilburn & the Highroads, with Ian Dury. Sharing their interest in visual art and painting they both studied at Walthamstow School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art, London. As an art student in the ‘60s he was also a pioneer of free improvisation, free jazz & experimental music.
He formed a duo with guitarist Derek Bailey in the late ´60s and was a regular member of The Continuous Music Ensemble,The People Band and, later on, Alterations with David Toop, Steve Beresford & Peter Cusack.
Terry has collaborated with many musical luminaries, groups, dancers, painters, poets and performed in theatre. He now plays bamboo reed flutes, drums, recorders, balloons & improvises with his lyrics, prose and verse. Since 2000 he has been part of London Improvisers Orchestra. In recent years he has toured twice in both Japan and Brazil, and has performed with improvising orchestras in Malaga, Tokyo and Madrid.
David Toop (born 1949) has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. This encompasses improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. It includes seven acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016) and forthcoming - Flutter Echo, a memoir first published in Japan in 2017 (May 2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2020). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released thirteen solo albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments on Brian Eno’s Obscure label (1975) and Sound Body on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label (2006) to Entities Inertias Faint Beings (2016). His 1978 Amazonas recordings of Yanomami shamanism and ritual were released on Sub Rosa as Lost Shadows (2016). In recent years his collaborations include Rie Nakajima, Akio Suzuki, Tania Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and a revived Alterations, the iconoclastic improvising quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and Terry Day first formed in 1977. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in 2012. He is currently Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.
Max Eastley is a sound installation artist and musician. He has been an AHRC Senior Researcher at Oxford Brookes University investigating Aeolian phenomena, his last aeolian installation was for Ikon Gallery, Birmingham at Perrott’s Folly:
He is an artist with the Cape Farewell Climate Change Project (http://www.capefarewell.com) and has been City Sound Artist for Bonn, Germany and, for 2017, was a guest of the DAAD, Berlin. He is well known as an improvising musician and has played many solo concerts as well as in combinations with musicians such as David Toop, Evan Parker, Steve Beresford, John Butcher, Ute Wasserman, Phil Minton and Axel Dorner. He has worked extensively with music and performance including working with dancers and choreographers such as Anna Huber and the Siobhan Davies Company.
George Khan, also sometimes credited as Nisam Ahmed Khan, is an artist and multiinstrumentalist who has been part of the British music scene since the late ‘60s. He principally plays saxophones and flute and is a long time member of the People Band. In the ‘70s he recorded with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Robert Wyatt.
Gina Southgate is an artist who, through a growing interest in music and the aesthetic of musical instruments, began to paint at gigs. She is well known on the London free music and jazz scene where she has painted and performed live at gigs for 25 years.