Wednesday 1 March 2017, 7.30pm
Victor Herrero returns to OTO following the release of new album, Astrolabio, on Feeding Tube Records.
“Astrolabio is an album of solo compositions and improvisations for Portuguese guitar that defies easy classification. Its tone is so bright and folky it almost sounds like a hammered dulcimer in spots, but Jean Ritchie would probably keel over if she heard this record. At times, Victor’s playing emphasizes the ethereal beauty of the strings’ natural vibrations, but he can also create insane rafts of sound with Northern African rhythms crossing swords with chunks of string sound as mysterious fried as anything ever done by Loren Connors.” – Byron Coley
Victor Herrero was introduced to music in his childhood while living in the famous monastery Franco erected in a mountain valley west of Madrid (El Valle de los Caídos). There he learned to sing Gregorian and Mozarabic chant under the guidance of Benedictine monks. As a teenager back in his hometown Toledo he formed a psych-rock outfit called ‘Cicely’, which grew into a popular Madrid-based band. The group lasted 8 years, after which Victor recorded and released an album of his solo piano compositions "Connotaciones para Piano" (Sello Autor - SGAE, 2006) under his old stage name “Victor Cicely”.
Shortly after this period, Victor met his wife the US artist Josephine Foster, and they began to collaborate and perform together in concert as well as in the recording studio. During the last couple years Victor has been involved in many different projects and journeys. Travelling, recording or playing with artists like Michael Gira, Keiji Haino, Luzmila Carpio, Baby Dee, Master Musicians of Joujouka, Vinicio Capossela, Sonny Simmons, Ed Askew, Arlt, Marisa Terzi, Alasdair Roberts, Eric Chenaux, Tomi Simatupang, Alex Neilson, Paz Lenchantin, Gyda Valtysdottir, Abdellah el Gourd, Michael Zerang, Nat Baldwin, Lorena Álvarez, Shahzad Ismaily, etc.
These days he works on a variety of projects and forthcoming releases, one of which shall be a solo instrumental record of his Portuguese guitar improvisations.
Douglas MacGregor is a London-based Scottish experimental guitar player and composer. He blends new with old, simplicity with complexity and melody with texture to create beautiful and dynamic pieces which draw listeners into his intimate and expressive sound world. His unique style is informed by a range of diverse influences - from blues, jazz and folk, to pop, experimental, classical and musics from round the world – and yet follows its own linear inner logic.
MacGregor began musical life in various Glasgow rock, jazz, improvised and experimental bands, but a 5 year stint in Berlin saw him refocus more on his own interest in natural acoustic sounds while keeping this borderless approach to style. His most recently released solo album, The Stillness Dancing, saw MacGregor collaborate with both electronic and classical musicians. Taking a striped back approach, he is now focusing on solo nylon-strung guitar performance.
Billy Steiger was born in Howth, Ireland on the 16th December, 1986. Now he plays on the violin.
“Then he sat down by a pond and began to play a tune. As he played, the most extraordinary thing happened. One by one the fish in the pond began to jump out and fly about in the air. And what is more, they were all different colours and they were singing to the music.”
Patrick, Quentin Blake.