Unpredictable Thursdays at The Vortex 2022 presents experimental music, free improvisation, film, and art sessions. Every season we will present an unpredictable line-up!
Spring session Thursday 17th March 2022
Steve Beresford + Alex Ward – Piano, objects and clarinet
Blanca Regina + Art Terry – Voice, objects, electronics, and piano
Cath Roberts + Sam Andreae – Objects, electronics
The evening includes live painting by Gina Southgate.
Two shows in an evening with different ticket links for each one.
The first show is from 7 -8.30 pm. Get your tickets
The second Show is from 9pm-10pm. Get your tickets
Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British and international spontaneous music scenes for over forty years, freely improvising on the piano, electronics and other things with people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, John Zorn and Alterations (with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack). He has written songs, written for large and small ensembles, and scored short films, feature films, TV shows and commercials. He was part of the editorial teams of Musics and Collusion magazines, writes about music in various contexts and was a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. With Blanca Regina, he is part of Unpredictable Series, which produces events and sound and video recordings of experimental music and art.
Steve has worked with Christian Marclay on numerous Marclay mixed media pieces. He has also worked with The Slits, Najma Akhtar, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Tania Chen, Ray Davies, Mandhira De Saram, The Flying Lizards, Zeena Parkins, The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Ilan Volkov, Rachel Musson, Vic Reeves, Lore Lixenberg and many others. Beresford has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, free-improviser, composer and producer, and was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012.
In 2021, Bloomsbury published a book by Andy Hamilton: ‘Pianos, Toys, Music and Noise: Conversations with Steve Beresford’. In 2022, Siglio published the book ‘Call and Response’, which partnered photographs by Christian Marclay with notated improvisations by Beresford.
Alex Ward is a composer, improviser and performing musician living in London. His work over the last 30-plus years has encompassed free improvisation with the likes of Derek Bailey, Lol Coxhill, John Edwards and Steve Noble; leading his own ensembles such as the Alex Ward Quintet, Item 4, Predicate and Forebrace; collaborative projects Camp Blackfoot, Dead Days Beyond Help (with Jem Doulton), Noonward (with Sean Noonan) and his duo with Dominic Lash; and diverse sideman work including tenure with This Is Not This Heat, The Flying Luttenbachers, the Duck Baker Trio/Quartet and Eugene Chadbourne’s Hellington Country. His primary instruments throughout this activity have been clarinet and guitar; but he has also performed on a variety of other instruments, and his multi-instrumental leanings were employed to their fullest capacity on his 2021 solo album “Gated”, his most ambitious and wide-ranging work to date.
Cath Roberts’ work explores free improvisation, composition and the music at their meeting point. Her primary outlet as a composer and improviser on baritone saxophone is the band Sloth Racket, which has toured widely and released several albums. As bandmate, Cath is a member of several groups including Madwort Sax Quartet, Article XI and MoonMot. She has a long-standing duo with guitarist Anton Hunter (Ripsaw Catfish), as well as regular collaborations with Tullis Rennie, Benedict Taylor, Otto Willberg, Seth Bennett and others. Cath co-runs LUME with Dee Byrne, producing concerts, tours and festivals since 2013 and releasing music on their offshoot label Luminous. With Tom Ward and Colin Webster she organises BRÅK, an improvised music series taking place in Brockley, South East London.
Usually found playing saxophones in Sloth Racket, Cath Roberts and Sam Andreae started experimenting with lots of tabletop noise-making at their shared studio space in Lewisham in 2020. Once it was possible to play live again, they played a set at Hundred Years Gallery for LUME in July 2021, and a set at waterintobeer for BRÅK that August. Their tape ‘Miaow Argument’ (December 2021) is available on the Sound Holes label.
Sam Andreae has been active across Europe over the last decade as a saxophonist, composer and organiser. Through improvisation and composition he explores a music of colliding sound gestures and aural detritus, built up from an intentionally fractured instrumental language and playful spontaneity. His compositions place a focus on gestural processes which in their unraveling reveal a trail of sound artefacts to be picked through. “what Sam Andreae does is liminal music, he shows you the clicks, the noises, the breaths, the rattle and hum” – John Doran, Quietus, 2017 on BBC 3 Late Junction
Blanca Regina is an interdisciplinary artist that creates sound works with voice , toys and electronics, audiovisual installations, visual art, and films. In her last releases, ‘What Blue’, a duo with Steve Beresford (2020), and ‘Duets with Blanca Regina, Spontaneous Music’ (2018) she uses voice, electronics, and various instruments.
She has created music and films with artists, including Peter Cusack, John Butcher, Leafcutter John, Matt Black (Coldcut), Hyelim Kim, Jack Goldstein, David Toop, Sharon Gal, Karel Doing, and Matthias Kispert. Blanca is also an independent curator and tutor and has produced events and workshops internationally.
Co-founder of Unpredictable Series, she is completing a documentary film about the free improviser and artist Terry Day. Her work has been supported by Arts Council England, Sound & Music, BMC, Amexcid, Photo-España, and Garage Cube.
Art Terry is a conceptual Black artist from Los Angeles. His primary practice is as a composer/musician. His songs explore Black politics, sexuality and religion, through a lyrical fusion [gumbo] of African American folklore and avant garde orchestrated funk. A singer and pianist, Art underpins deeply personal lyrics with dense melodic textures to create conceptual Black music.
Gina Southgate is a live painter, best known on the UK’s international jazz scene where she produces spectacular, qualitative, real time paintings. For three decades she’s painted at gigs and festivals capturing the vitality and nuance in her unique portraits of world class musicians
Her original paintings and limited-edition prints hang in public and private collections worldwide. She has collaborated with, been resident artist for and exhibited at (among others); EFG London Jazz Festival, Gateshead International Jazz festival, All Tomorrows Parties, Jazz Leeds, Jazz North East, Jazz in the Round, Jazz on 3, Vortex Jazz, UK. Jazzahead!, Konfrontationen, and Kaleidophon Festivals, Europe. Vision Festival, USA.
October 2021 Edition
Steve Beresford + Blanca Regina
Beibei Wang + John Butcher
Charlotte Keefe + Sam Eastmond
Visuals by Pierre Bouvier Patron
Pierre Bouvier Patron
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 various practices and skills in experimental film, documentary films, music videos, etc.
He is involved in video screenings and video performances, solo or in collaboration, with musicians such as Syd Kemp, Steve Beresford, Neil Charles, and artist Blanca Regina, among others. His work has been shown in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, etc.
His latest works include Unpredictable: Conversations with Improvisers, a series of 12 videos about improvisers in the UK, music videos for Ben Marc. His work also includes extensive participation with collectives such as Unpredictable Series, Strange Umbrellas, and several festivals such as Sonic Waterloo, Art of Improvisers, Alterations Festivals.
John 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 extreme acoustics. His “Resonant Spaces” CD is a collection of site-specific performances recorded during a tour of unusual locations in Scotland and the Orkney Islands.
Since the early 80s, he has collaborated with hundreds of artists – including Derek Bailey, Eddie Prévost, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Steve Beresford, Okkyung Lee, John Russell, Christian Marclay, and Matthew Shipp. Additionally, he values occasional encounters – from the WDR Sinfonieorchester and EX Orkest to duos with Akio Suzuki, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Sophie Agnel, Fred Frith, and Joe McPhee. Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions, “Good Liquor…” for the London Sinfonietta, and “Tarab Cuts” (shortlisted for a British Composer’s Award
Charlotte Keeffe’s passion for free improvisation, jazz, and experimental music-making sees her performing regularly as a soloist and as part of a variety of different ensembles, including her own Quartet; Charlotte Keeffe(‘s) Quartet is currently touring the UK celebrating the recent release of her debut album, Right Here, Right Now – June 2021, Discus Music.
Charlotte is a member of several collaborations; the London Improvisers Orchestra, Moss Freed’s Union Division, and Calum Gourlay’s Big Band. She plays regularly with Alex Ward, Otto Willberg, and Andrew Lisle, in Andrew’s trio and Alex’s Item 4 and 10. She is also part of Birmingham-based Andrew Woodhead’s Pendulums and plays alongside jazz stalwart Annie Whitehead in Ben Higham’s The Brass Monkeys and with jazz stars Jay Phelps and Rosie Turton in Dan Samsa’s Contours. Alya Al-Sultani’s upcoming opera, Two Sisters, sees Charlotte playing alongside the likes of Alice Zawadzki, Robert Mitchell, and Dave Kane.
Piano and objects
Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British and international spontaneous music scenes for over forty years, freely improvising on the piano, electronics, and other things with people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, John Zorn, and Alterations (with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack).
He has written songs, written for large and small ensembles, and scored short films, feature films, TV shows, and commercials. He was part of the editorial teams of Musics and Collusion magazines, writes about music in various contexts, and was a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. With Blanca Regina, he is part of Unpredictable Series, which produces events and sound and video recordings of experimental music and art.
Steve has worked with Christian Marclay on numerous Marclay mixed media pieces. He has also worked with The Slits, Najma Akhtar, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Tania Chen, Ray Davies, Mandhira De Saram, The Flying Lizards, Zeena Parkins, Satoko Fukuda, The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Ilan Volkov, Rachel Musson, Vic Reeves, Sarah Gail Brand, Lore Lixenberg and many others.
Beresford has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, free-improviser, composer, and producer, and was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012.
Genre-defying percussionist Beibei Wang is an acclaimed international virtuoso percussionist with both a Chinese and British musical education background. Beibei has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the classical music world, receiving international praise for her performances. She was listed in the top 50 Chinese musicians in the “Sound of East” project by the Chinese Ministry of Culture, as well as endorsed by the Arts Council, England receiving an Exceptional Talent visa from the British Government. Following a successful world tour, Beibei now leads a traditional Chinese percussion programme at SOAS, University of London. In 2020, Beibei was named Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Most recently Beibei was appointed as percussion professor of the Crossover Studies Faculty at London Performing Academy of Music.
Sam Eastmond is a composer, arranger, bandleader, trumpet player and producer creating music incorporating a variety of genres including jazz, klezmer, cartoon, rock, surf, world, jewish and Downtown influences. Interweaving improvisation and intricately arranged composition Eastmond’s sound world transcends traditional concepts of genre boundaries.
He co-founded and leads the Spike Orchestra, a large ensemble who have recorded Four studio albums since 2014, their debut Ghetto (Spike Records), two collaborations with New York legend John Zorn as part of his Masada Book on Tzadik Label, Cerberus: The Spike Orchestra Play Masada Book Two and Binah from the forthcoming Masada Book Three series and the upcoming 2020 Spike Orchestra album.
Voice and objects