Strange Umbrellas began in 2013, promoting nights of experimental music, free-improvisation, film and art in London. Founded by artist & curator Blanca Regina, free Improvisor & composer Steve Beresford and experimental musician, musicologist Jack Goldstein. and film curator and visual artist Pierre Bouvier Patron.
This will be the twenty-third ‘Strange Umbrellas’. We’ve presented them all over London in very varied venues and also done a couple in Berlin. Each show consists of short and very contrasting acts, involving music both experimental and more conventional, film and video of all types, short lectures and other stuff.
It will feature:
David Toop + Allan Courtis + Blanca Regina ( trio)
Steven Ball (solo )
John White & Dr. Greta Kalteisen ( duo)
Steve Beresford ( solo)
‘Answer Print’ – Monica Saviron
Pierre Bouvier Patron (film) + Jack Goldstein (live music )
Alan Courtis, playing as part of the Strange Umbrellas #23. Alan’s music has a strong experimental sense and is usually based on high-skilled techniques of prepared #sound, tape manipulations, processing of field recordings, live #electronics, objects, cymbals, synthesizers, computer tools, playing traditional (both acoustic and electric) instruments as well as self-built, strange and unusual instruments (eg. unstringed guitar).
David Toop is a composer, musician, author, a professor and lecturer at the London College of Communication and curator with a particular interest in sound practice, listening and improvisation. He has worked in many fields of sound art and music, including improvisation, sound installations, field recordings, pop music production, and music for television, theatre and dance. He has recorded Yanomami shamanism in the Amazonas, appeared on Top of the Pops, exhibited sound installations in Tokyo, Beijing and London’s National Gallery, and performed with artists ranging from John Zorn, Evan Parker, Bob Cobbing and Ivor Cutler to Akio Suzuki, Elaine Mitchener, Lore Lixenberg and Max Eastley. He has published seven books, including Ocean of Sound, Haunted Weather, and Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener.
Blanca Regina is an artist, teacher and curator based in London. Her research and practice is heterogeneous and encompass expanded cinema, free improvisation, graphic and moving image, photography and performance art. In 2014 she joined as lecturer the School of Music and Fine Art at the University of Kent. For several years she was a visitining research fellow at the University of the Arts, London, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2011 to 2014. She has performed with various artists, including Terry Day, Leafcutter John, Beresford and Matthias Kispert and curated a number of events and installations in London and internationally. Her last solo exhibition: ‘Expanded and Ephemera Audiovisual’ was presented at MUPO, Oaxaca, México in November 2015.
Steven Ball …studied at Maidstone College of Art and has worked in film, video, sound and installation since the early 1980s… has been a member of Storm Bugs DIY music outfit from 1978… …in the late 1980s accidentally migrated to Melbourne, Australia, for twelve years… continued practice making a number of film, video, sound, and installation works, as well as being engaged in various curatorial, administrative, teaching and writing activities… most significantly involved with Melbourne Super 8 Film Group from around 1990 – 1995 as committee member, manager and festival director… …since returning to the UK in 2000 art practice has been predominantly digital audio-visual media, in exhibition, online and live, often collaborative, audio-visual and spoken-word performance… since 2003 has been Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and was instrumental in developing the British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection… … current art practice includes exploration of landscape and spatial representation, the relationship between local and global, social, political and post-colonial spheres, with particular regard to their dissemination through contemporary media platforms, performance and exhibition contexts, employing moving image, sound, text and spoken word… …writes about contemporary and historical moving image related art practice… curates screenings and exhibitions…
Mónica Savirón is an independent curator, writer, and experimental filmmaker. Originally from Madrid and currently based in New York, her work explores the cinematic possibilities of sound and avant-garde poetics. As a curator, she has organized shows at the Museum of the Moving Image, Microscope Gallery, Yale University, UnionDocs, and Anthology Film Archives. Her essays about avant-garde and artists’ cinema have been published internationally. For ten years, she also directed a weekly radio show on documentary and experimental films while producing the television show Documenta2.
Her film Answer Print (2016) had its World Premiere at the 54th New York Film Festival. This work, made with deteriorating color celluloid, is meant to disappear over time. Broken Tongue (2013) is a tribute to conceptual poet and performer Tracie Morris. Winner of the Best Film award at FRONTEIRA Film Festival in Brazil, it has been shown at more than fifty major festivals and art venues around the world. Her previous video, To Begin With (2012), had its World Premiere at Experiments in Cinema Festival. She has collaborated with preservationist and artist Bill Brand; and has worked on archiving and preserving the legacy of American avant-garde filmmaker and cellist Beryl Sokoloff.
Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British improvising scene for over thirty years, working with the likes of Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink,Christian Marclay and, of course, Alterations.
His work with Marclay has included mixed media pieces like ‘Screen Play’, ‘Ephemera’, ‘Graffiti Composition’, ‘Shuffle’, ‘Pianorama’ and ‘Everyday’. He has also written songs, scored feature films, TV shows and commercials.
Steve has worked with hundreds of people, including The Slits, Stewart Lee,Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Ray Davies, Ilan Volkov, The Flying Lizards, Otomo Yoshihide, The Portsmouth Sinfonia and John Zorn. He has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, composer and producer, and was was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012.
Pierre Bouvier Patron is a visual artist based in London. He is currently working with different media such as digital video and film, exploring the boundaries between them and creating moving image works, performances and installations. He has developed many practices and skills in various areas such as experimental film, documentary films, music videos, etc. He studied cinema at the Université Lyon II Lumiere of Lyon.
He has been involved in video screenings and video performances, in solo or in collaboration with musicians such as Syd Kemp, Neil’s Children, artist Blanca Regina, and many others. His work has been shown in France, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, etc.
His latest works include: Unpredictable: Conversations with Improvisers, a series of 12 videos about improvisers in the UK. It also include an extensive participation with collectives such as Unpredictable Series, Strange Umbrellas, and a number of festivals including Sonic Waterloo, Art of Improvisers, Alterations Festivals among others.
Jack Goldstein makes Experimental Lo-fi Power Pop/Emo. His latest record, entitled ‘Sandwiches’, is a Brian Wilson-esque song-cycle set in an imagined interzone near the Oxford that Goldstein grew up in. His previous record, ‘Tonic Of Wilderness’, was described as “a quiet triumph; a….collage of sound taking in so many moods, emotions and samples that it’s hard to keep track”. He is also a musicologist and academic at Goldsmiths University and was awarded the Bob Gilmore Prize for Outstanding Work in Musicology for his dissertation on the influence of politics and brass bands.
He has also written on pop, experimental and improvised music.
John White is a long-standing Head of Music at Drama Centre London. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music. His teaching posts have included Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music and teacher of Composition and Improvisation at the Yehudi Menuhim School. A distinguished and prolific contemporary composer, his work includes 25 symphonies, 3 operas, 35 ballet scores and 143 piano sonatas. He have also written and directed music for a number of productions at the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.