Sunday May 13th
Quartet: Phil Durrant/John Butcher/Joe Smith Sands/Mark Sanders
Duo: David Toop/ Lucie Štěpánková
Born near London in 1957, Phil Durrant is an improviser/composer/sound artist who has devised his own virtual performance instruments using Reaktor. As a violinist (and member of the Butcher/Russell/Durrant trio), he was one of the key exponents of the “group voice approach” style of improvised music.
In the late 90s, his trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn represented a shift to a more “reductionist” approach. Durrant’s exploration in the use of live electronics to expand the timbre of the violin, evolved into the creation and building of self-made virtual instruments. His live sampling/treatments duo with John Butcher and his work MIMEO, saw Durrant move from the use of hardware to the use of software in live situations.
Recently he has returned to hardware and is currently using modular synth and amplified objects. Durrant also performs regularly with the acoustic/electronic group Trio Sowari (with Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins) and Mark Wastell’s The Seen.
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.
Joe Smith Sands
Joe Smith Sands is a guitarist from London and has played improvised music since 2015. Following a period of study with guitarist John Russell he went on to be a founding member of the Mopomoso Workshop Group. More recently he has worked and performed with musicians such as Sarah Gail Brand, Veryan Weston, Charlotte Keefe and Alex Ward.
Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.
In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts – both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.
Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.
David is a musician, author, professor and Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.
He has published five books including Ocean of Sound, Rap Attack and Sinister Resonance. His first album, ‘New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments’, was released on Brian Eno’s Obscure label in 1975 and he has collaborated with artists ranging from John Latham, Bob Cobbing, Carlyle Reedy and Ivor Cutler to Rie Nakajima, Evan Parker, Max Eastley and Akio Suzuki.
He has recently completed part one of Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom, a two-volume work on free improvisation. Exhibitions and events he has curated include Music/Context Festival of Environmental Music for the LMC (1978), Sonic Boom for the Hayward Gallery (2000), sound curation for Radical Fashion at the V&A (2000-2001), Playing John Cage at the Arnolfini (2005) and Blow Up at Flat Time House (2010).
Lucie Štěpánková is an electronic musician and sound artist. Trained by intuition and attentive listening her work revolves around merging field recording and acoustic and synthetic sounds, creating immersive imaginary events in progressive ambient compositions that seek to expose and explore detail within sound.
Lucie is interested in creating emotionally vibrant sonic happenings and listening situations. She employs various ways of harvesting inspiration including deep listening, solitary exploration of natural and urban ecosystems, improvisation, movement and literature.