Richard Scott is a free improvising musician and electroacoustic composer working with electronics including modular synthesizers and controllers such as the Buchla Thunder and Lightning and his own self-designed WiGi infrared controller developed at STEIM. He has been composing and performing for over 25 years, recently working with Evan Parker, Jon Rose, Richard Barrett, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Shelley Hirsch, Ute Wasserman, Michael Vorfeld, Frank Gratkowski and his own Lightning Ensemble. He studied free improvisation in the 1980s with John Stevens, saxophone with Elton Dean and Steve Lacy, and electroacoustic composition with David Berezan and Ricardo Climent. He has released many albums, for example with Grutronic and Evan Parker for PSI records, The Magnificence of Stereo (sruti BOX) and has a solo double modular synthesizer LP, Several Circles, and an album with Sidsel Endreson, Debris in Lower Earth Orbit, both due for release on CUSP Editions in 2015.
David Birchall is a guitarist and sound explorer lives in Manchester and one of the key figures in the city’s currently very rich and active free improvisation and noise scenes. He is a highly original guitarist whose highly visceral approach to the instrument combines remarkable musical sensitivity and appalling physical violence. He performs regularly with many Manchester based improvisors including Sam Andreae, Andrew Cheetham, Otto Willberg, Greta Buitkute, THF Drenching, London based Colin Webster and Amsterdam native Rogier Smal. One-offs and random stage/studio collaborations have also seen him working with such luminary figures as Marshall Allen, Rhys Chatham, Phil Minton and Mark Sanders.
He has performed in the UK, Europe, Russia and USA and has been commissioned to give workshops and projects for Madlab, Brighter Sounds, Bury and Manchester Libraries, Manchester NHS, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Tour de France and the National Media Museum.
AUDREY CHEN – voice
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 specialisation 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.
Chen’s work delves 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 the homemade analogue 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.
Recent projects, aside from performing solo, include her duo with London based vocalist Phil Minton, a duo with NYC abstract turntablist Maria Chavez and a collaborative project with German conceptual artist John Bock. Recent album releases (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 Sub Rosa (Brussels).
LLOYD COLE – modular synthesizer
Born in 1961 in Buxton, England, Lloyd Cole established himself as one of the most articulate and acute songwriters of the post-punk era, through both his lauded work fronting Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and his more eclectic solo efforts. In 1987 he disbanded the Commotions and moved to New York City to establish himself as a solo performer. After a songwriting and performing career of many twists and turns he released a very surprising electronic record, Selected Studies, Vol. 1 in March 2013 with the Krautrock legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius. It received favourable reviews and kick-started another unique chapter in Cole’s distinguished career. The following year he curated Kollektion 02, a retrospective compilation of Roedelius’s music. In 2015, Cole released 1D Electronics 2012-2014, a collection of solo modular synthesizer experiments originally recorded for his collaboration with Roedelius.
Axel Dörner has worked with numerous internationally respected figures in the fields of improvised music, contemporary music, jazz and electronic music. He has developed a unique style of trumpet playing based in part on unusual, often self-invented techniques. He has toured in Europe, America, Australia, Asia and Africa and has appeared on numerous CD and record releases for Intakt, FMP, PAN, Delmark, Erstwhile Records, Doubt Music, Creative Sources, Ftarri, Hibarimusic etc. Among others, he has collaborated with Phil Minton, Rudi Mahall, Kevin Drumm, Paul Lovens, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Sven-Åke Johansson, Sam Rivers, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Zeena Parkins, Lol Coxhill, The London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Mats Gustafsson, Günter Christmann, Barry Guy, Andrea Neumann and Annette Krebs.
Emilio Gordoa is a Mexican composer and vibraphonist based in Berlin since 2012.
He’s involved in numerous projects including his work as a soloist and in collaboration with theater and dance. Emilio is specially focus in sound art, experimental music, noise, free jazz, improvisation and contemporary music. He is redefining the vibraphone as a source, treating it with preparations and extended techniques, and is a busy composer as well, writing graphic scores for a variety of ensembles, large and small, for theater, documentary films and audiovisual. Emilio studied music composition with Vincent Carver and Mario Lavista, and percussion with Raul Tudon. He has collaborated and performed with artist such as German Bringas, John Russell, Tristan Honsinger, John Butcher, John Edwards, Misha Marks, Axel Dörner, Tony Buck, Tobias Delius, Ignaz Schick, Liz Allbee, Richard Scott, Klaus Kürvers, Alexander Bruck, and Ute Wassermann. He is member of the BerIO (Berliner Improviser Orchestra), and otherer ensembles like the Circuit Traning (electro-acousting octet), Emilio performed in several venues and festivals around Europe such as the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Klangkunstprojekte of Leipzig, Art-Sound Festival Berlin, CSW (Contemporary Art Museum of Warsaw), and in Vortex London. Some of his recent projects are Dörner-Gordoa-Thieke-Vorfeld quertet, Para.keets, Corso and MOvE.
FRANK GRATKOWSI – contrabass clarinet, bass clarinet, Bb clarinet, alto saxophone
Frank has worked as a soloist in various international formations (Grubenklang Orchester, Apartment House, Musikfabrik NRW, BikBentBraam, Zeitkratzer, WDR Orchestra, WDR Big band, Münchener Kammerorchester etc). Since 1990 he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and the USA. With his first solo programme, “Artikulationen”, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. Since 1992 he has been working in a duo with the pianist Georg Graewe, which is often extended through the participation of different additional musicians, such as drummer Paul Lovens and bassist John Lindberg. He has played at nearly every German and numerous international jazz and new music festivals, including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Mulhouse, Groeningen, Nickelsdorf, Barcelona, Lithuania, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa, Belgrade, Madrid, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Huddersfield, London and Rome. He has performed with Robert Dick, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Herb Robertson, Marcio Mattos, Eugenio Colombo, Peter Kowald, Ray Anderson, Michael Moore, Ken Vandermark, Greg Osby, Kenny Wheeler, Louis Sclavis, John Betsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Connie and Hannes Bauer, Xu Fengxia, James Newton, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lindberg, Michael Formaneck, Ernst Reijseger, Fred van Hove, Theo Jörgensmann, Phil Minton, Peter Brötzmann, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Hamid Drake, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Zeena Parkins, Mal Waldron, Misha Mengelberg and Beat Furrer among others. His discography counts more than 30 CDs under his own name and many others as sideman.
Philippa Jeffery is a visual artist currently based in Berlin. Drawing forms the basis of her practice but may develop into other areas such as printmaking, photography, mask making and performance. Her artistic practice can be summed up as an attempt to access and retrieve images from other realms, from dreams and visions, from the personal and collective unconscious, and from the body. Her ongoing project ‘Global Sheepwoman Research Laboratory’ explores the idea of making a bridge between the dream state and the waking state, through her alter ego – Sheepwoman. She is currently working in collaboration with Monica Gentile in a dance and installation piece on the theme of Shepherding. Since the summer of 2015 she has been developing a new way of drawing with light and some of these images can be seen here on the Sound Anatomy label.
Since the early 1980s Thomas Lehn has been working as an author and performer of contemporary music. Parallel to his work as a pianist, since the early 1990s his most widely renowned work has been performing and producing live-electronic music. Rooted in the experience of a wide spectrum of musical fields based on his background as an interpreting and improvising pianist in classical, contemporary and jazz music, and having been involved in numerous other projects like music theatre, dance, multimedia etc, he has been developing an individual language of electronic music. The electronic equipment he uses consists of analogue synthesizers from the late 1960s, and since 1994 in particular the EMS Synthi A. Besides the substantial sound qualities of its analogue synthesis, the ability of this modular instrument to modify electronic sounds directly, as well as to combine and to control several parameters of the sound synthesis at the same time, allow him to spontaneously act in close contact with the various structural levels of the musical process.
In 2000 his solo album Feldstärken was released on German label Random Acoustics. Today his discography totals around 80 CD publications. Long term collaborations include ensembles KONK PACK, TOOT, THERMAL, FUTCH, MIMEO, SPEAK EASY, 6IX, VARIO-34, as well as duos with Marcus Schmickler, Tiziana Bertoncini, Gerry Hemingway, Paul Lovens, Frédéric Blondy Urs Leimgruber and John Butcher.
Phillip Marks has been an energetic and inspiring force in improvised music in Manchester for over two decades. As a drummer and percussionist, with his group BARK! he has developed a uniquely animated approach to the instrument and to collective group improvisation. He performs with pianist Stephen Grew in Grew Trio/Quartet, in a Quartet with Tony Bevan, Dominic Lash and Paul Obermayer (Recording “A Big Hand” released in 2010) and in the Alan Tomlinson Trio.
Has also played with Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, John Butcher, Phil Wachsman, Marcio Mattos, Pat Thomas, John Edwards among many others as well as performing as a solo percussionist.
Paul Obermayer is most well known as half of the electronic duo FURT (with Richard Barrett), as a member of the mighty BARK! trio and as a long time participant in Evan Parker’s Electroacoustic Ensemble. Before the era when experimental laptop musicians flooded the stage, Obermayer was one of the few to pioneer the sampler as a feasible instrument for performance and free improvisation. He helped show that live electronics could coexist and compete with acoustic instruments, harnessing new digital tools and helping to introduce a new physicality, responsiveness and sense of infinite invention to live electronics. As this album shows, he remains one of its most accomplished and enthralling exponents. Paul has released music on Bruce’s Fingers, ECM, Foghorn, JdK, Matchless, psi, Treader, Unsounds and X-OR.
Violinist Jon Rose is the central figure in the development of Free Improvisation in Australia, performing in almost every Art Gallery, Jazz and Rock club in the country – either solo or with an international pool of improvising musicians called The Relative Band. In 1986, he moved to Berlin in order to more fully realise his on-going project of some 25 years: The Relative Violin. This is the development of a Total Art form based around the one instrument. Necessary to this concept has been innovation in the fields of new instrument design (over 20 deconstructed violin instruments including the legendary double piston triple neck wheeling violin, environmental performance (eg. playing fences in the Australian outback using the violin as a bow) and new instrumental techniques and contexts.
Jon Rose has appeared on over 100 records and CD’s; He has worked with many of the innovators and mavericks in contemporary music such as The Kronos String Quartet, John Zorn, Derek Bailey, Butch Morris, Barry Guy, Fred Frith, Joelle Leandre, Connie Bauer, Johannes Bauer, Chris Cutler, Otomo Yoshihide, KK Null, Alex Von Schlippenbach, Toshinori Kondo, Francis-Marie Uitti, Alvin Curran, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Phil Minton, Shelley Hirsh, Mark Dresser, Ben Patterson, Emmett Williams, John Cage, Joel Ryan, Peter Kowald, Borah Borgmann, Tristan Honsinger, Mari Kimura, The Soldier String Quartet, Borah Bergman, Sainko, Tristan Honsinger, Tony Oxley, Cor Fuhler, Steve Beresford, Eugene Chadbourne, Bob Ostertag, Malcolm Goldstein, Jim Denley, David Moss, Miya Masaoka, Barre Phillips, Roger Turner, George Lewis, Gunter Christmann, Davy Williams, Misha Mengelberg, Elliott Sharpe, Elena Kats Chernin, Lauren Newton, Uli Gumpert, Christian Marclay, Richard Barrett, Pierre Henry, etc.).
David Ross is a restless and unconventional multi-instrumentalist who brings an intensely musical quality to every instrument he touches. For the past 25 years Ross has played drums, kalimba, Jew’s harps, kantele and electronics in a series of quietly eccentric groups such as The Kenny Process Team, The Happy Couple and Twinkle³, navigating the margins and crossing points between many different musical idioms, including folk, post-rock, electroacoustic composition and free improvisation. In recent years he has become increasingly absorbed in analogue electronics as a member of Grutronic, who made two superb albums for Evan Parker’s psi label, and through a long-running series of musical projects with Clive Bell and Richard Scott. The Davestation is an electronic instrument he has honed over several years, morphed from his earlier instrument the Drossillator and specifically designed for real time composition. Ross remains perhaps the only musician to have composed an album entirely using an analogue synthesizer built into a kettle. David has released music on Hemiola, Bingo, Sonic Arts Network, Barley Wheel, psi, Metier Jazz, Ini itu, Cusp Editions, Game of Life and Functional Electric.
WOLFGANG SEIDEL – Buchla Music Easel synthesizer and tabletop guitar Born in 1949 in West Berlin in the last weeks of the blockade of the city by the Soviet army, Wolfgang Seidel has been heavily involved with the music scene in Berlin since he started playing drums in rock bands as a teenager. In the late 1960s he found himself in the vicinity of Joseph Beuys’ student Conrad Schnitzler and the Zodiak Free Arts Lab, one of the cradles of the music which would later get the label “Krautrock”. He played in Conrad Schnitzler’s group Eruption, an experimental unit which looked for new sounds and new forms of musical interaction. In 1970, Seidel was among the founders of Ton Steine Scherben, one of the first bands to combine rock music with the German language. Founding their own label in 1971, Ton Steine Scherben became the precursor of independent music in Germany. Their re-released album recently made it into the German album charts, a mere 45 years since the original release! Around 1980, Seidel brought the experience of rock music and free improvisation together in groups such as Popular Mechanics and in collaboration with Alfred Harth. Today he is active in Berlin’s thriving Echzeitmusik and free improvisation scenes as a drummer and synthesizer player. Despite his long musical history, the Basic Electricity concert on 11 September 2015 was his first ever solo performance.
MICHAEL VORFELD – percussion
Michael is a musician and visual artist based in Berlin who plays percussion and self-designed string instruments and realises electro-acoustic sound pieces. He works in the field of experimental, improvised music and sound art. He realises installations and performances with light and sound, photography and film. Besides his solo activities he is a member of various ensembles and collaborates with artists who work in many different art forms. His list of activities includes numerous concerts, performances and exhibitions in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
Ute Wassermann is known as a vocal soloist and composer/performer and for her extraordinary, many-voiced and extreme vocal sound-language, which she has brought into contemporary music in diverse ways. She defamiliarises the sound of her voice using bird call whistles, palate whistles, speaker objects or field recordings. A particular interest is the development of compositions for spaces with unusual acoustic qualities. She has performed as a vocal soloist in the area of contemporary and experimental music in festivals in Europe, Australia and Asia. She is an integral part of the Berlin and London experimental music scenes, performing regularly with ongoing collaborators like Speak Easy (with Phil Minton, Martin Blume and Thomas Lehn), John Russell, Alexander Kolkowski, Els Vandeweyer, Michael Vorfeld (percussion and lights), Birgit Ulher and others, and is a member of the Berlin-based composer/performer ensemble Les Femmes Savantes. She has given premieres of works composed specially for her voice, for example by Richard Barrett, Chaya Czernowin, Henning Christiansen, Hans-Joachim Hespos, Matthias Kaul, Michael Maierhof, Michael Finnissy, Cathy van Eck, Simon Steen-Andersen and Andrew Noble, as well as performances of works by Salvatore Sciarrino, John Cage and others.