Two evenings with Tender Buttons.

 

  1. Sunday 26th November at Iklectik with Steve Beresford, Gino Robair and Steph Horak, Trio Sowari and Tender Buttons (Tania Chen, Gino Robair and Tom Djll).
  2. Monday 27th November at Foyles with Tender Buttons and John Butcher.
    Steve Beresford, Gino Robair, Steph Horak.

    Steve Beresford, Gino Robair, Steph Horak

    Trio Sowari

    Trio Sowari

    Tania Chen

    Tania Chen

    iklectik4

    Tender Buttons

    foyles3

    Tender Buttons with John Butcher

    foyles2

    John Butcher

    foyles4

    Gino Robair and Tom Djll

    foyles1

    Tania Chen

Two nights at Cafe Oto. 26/27. iv. 16

steve b001

Steve Beresford at the piano

Night One.

The first a version of Cage’s ‘Indeterminacy’ with Stewart Lee, Tania Chen and Steve Beresford plus Chen and Jon Leidecker playing other Cage pieces and a piece by Chen herself. All performed with great panache and verve. I have seen the same trio ‘do’ ‘Indeterminacy’ before but this time I began to wonder if Lee’s comic persona and deadpan delivery was becoming, through no fault of his own, something floating free of the work. I know that many of Cage’s stories are intended to be funny and Lee resists the urge to ham up the comic effect, there are, after all, other constraints at work…but the audience will have their own way in these circumstances and in a piece like this the audience becomes part of the performance. Listeners can get it as wrong as musicians. If, as I suspect and as Duchamp kind of said, the viewer {listener} completes the work, then those listeners have a certain responsibility and can listen badly…I guess…

lisa busby

Lisa Busby x 2

Night Two.

The link to the second night was in the aleatory nature of one of the three acts. (The other sets on the night were by Andrew Tuttle and Chris Rainier). Lisa Busby combines various electronic bits and pieces with cassette and vinyl playback and her own, often distorted, voice. (To make another, incidental link…there was quite a lot of voice distortion in Susanna’s performance at the same venue in the previous week). Busby’s pieces are composed – just as Cage’s are – and they walk a thin line over thin ice. The possibility of failure lurks just below the surface and hovers just to the side of that line. Purposeful chance operations like the deck’s stylus positioned half into the record groove or accidental ones, like a malfunctioning Walkman, make for a surprising and unpredictable sound environment. Add to this Busby’s recognition of the need for ‘perfomativity’ and the experience of witnessing this unfolding work becomes particularly interesting. This is hardly thought through but I am beginning to wonder if this visual and experiential element in aleatory and improvised music is something that (some) women are more comfortable with than (some) men. In very different ways I have seen Rie Nakajima and Angharad Davies use space and what might even be theatrical techniques in their work to similar dynamic effect.

Lisa Busby’s website is here.

And this is a link to her latest album, ‘Fingers in the Gloss’.

At ATP, Prestatyn.

IMG_1368

A strange, all-consuming experience at Pontin’s, Prestatyn this weekend. The holiday camp was as much part of the environment as All Tomorrow’s Parties and one of the pleasures of the weekend (the music was another) was sorting out the juxtapositions and overlaps between the two. Obviously, there is a good deal to say about the whole event so I will skip that bit.

Saturday morning there was supposed to be something called ‘Mixtape Swap’. I have been making a series of mix CDs over the last few years that are based on the end-of-an-era discs I find at my local charity shops for 99p each. I thought I should bring along some of this output for trading. Either I missed this event or it didn’t actually happen and despite an announcement from the stage I found myself carrying 12 different mix CDs in their unique covers around with me (I like twelve. A dozen…one for each month of the year. Twelve subdivides into three four times.) While listening to Jonny Trunk talk about library music later that day I decided to give them away…gifts rather than swaps. So here is how I disposed of the 12 CDs:

  1. Given to Jonny Trunk after his talk.
  2. Left on a table next to Stage One on Saturday afternoon.
  3. Given to Tania Chen after her performance with David Toop.
  4. Given to David Toop after his performance with Tania Chen.
  5. Left under a monitor on Stage 3 after the Evan Parker, John Russell and John Edwards performance.
  6. Given to a male stranger outside the chalets on Sunday morning.
  7. Given to a female stranger in the same spot about an hour later.
  8. Left in the ‘win’ slot of the Tuppeny Falls game in the arcade.
  9. Left in a box set by Rhodri Davies on the merchandise stall.
  10. Given to a man called Ben who tapped me on the shoulder and said he remembered me from the announcement on Saturday….he told me something about why he had nothing to swap but I couldn’t really hear him.
  11. After leaving one on a malfunctioning ‘shoot ’em up’ game in the Arcade I noticed it was still there much later so I took it back and gave it to a laughing couple who were wedged into some too small rocking teacup thing.
  12. Concealed in Chalet 508.

Miss Havisham presents. Old Cholmeley Boys Club, Dalston. 30. ix. 12

Lore Lixenberg solo.

Not the usual sort of interior for a music venue. It’s a long hall with a gallery around 3 sides. There is a table in the centre of the room and a u-shaped arrangement of sofas at one end. There are paintings on the walls and some propped against the gallery balustrade. A chandelier hangs from the ceiling (there is also one lying on the floor) and palms in ornate pots on plinths are dotted around the room. There are various sculptures on tables, a large timber framed vitrine and numerous stuffed animals. This is clearly a ‘set’ but most strikingly it is a set in which someone lives. The racks of clothes and stacks of books are used and not just there to create an effect.

Tonight the big centre table is set up with a sitar and effect boxes but the last time I was here the audience could sit at the table as if attending a meeting. The musicians on this occasion play in the half of the room nearest the entrance. This means that the audience has to walk through the performance area to reach their seats. But in reality there is little distinction between the two spaces and the musicians and audience overlap to reflect this. There is no ideal place to perform and no ideal spot from which to listen and see the performances. It is a relatively small space with a lot of soft surfaces so there is very little decay in the sound and this suits the shifting dynamic nature of the programme. There are 6 musicians tonight who play in various combinations and alone. The evening ends with a piece performed by all the musicians. This is, in many ways, an ideal way to experience live music. It is immersive, immediate and unpredictable. Sound/music here takes on some of the characteristics of the space. Just as the performers and audience mingle so too there is a merging of the visual and aural elements of the environment.

John Butcher – saxophone

Tania Chen – piano

BJ Cole – pedal steel guitar

Poulomi  Desai – prepared sitar and electronics

John Edwards – double bass

Lore Lixenberg – voice

Audience

This was the last in a series of events organised by Steve Beresford and Tania Chen for this space. More are planned for early 2013.