Resonance Extra Presents: Ben Neill + Howlround + Radionics Radio At Cafe Oto

Ben Neill Flier

This concert will be broadcast live on Resonance Extra (extra.resonance.fm).

Details and tickets here.

A rare London performance by American innovator Ben Neill – composer, performer, producer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. Hailed as “a creative composer and genius performer” (Time Out NY),”the mad scientist of dancefloor jazz” (CMJ), and “a musical powerhouse, a serious and individual talent” (Time Out), Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz and contemporary classical music, blurring the lines between DJ culture and acoustic instrument performance. Ben studied composition with minimalist legend La Monte Young and has led many performances of Young’s work including at the acclaimed 2015 Huddersfield Music Festival. He has worked closely with many musical innovators including John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Rhys Chatham, DJ Spooky, Nicolas Collins, David Berhman, John Cale, Mimi Goese, Page Hamilton, David Rothenberg, Gary Lucas – and with the late David Wojnarowicz on their major collaboration, ITSOFOMO.

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First coming to prominence with hugely-acclaimed 2012 LP, The Ghosts Of Bush, Howlround has now expanded to a sextet (four machines, two people) and create recordings and performances entirely from manipulating natural acoustic sounds on vintage reel-to-reel tape machines, with additional reverb or electronic effects strictly forbidden. In an age where one can create all manner of electronic music with a simple swipe of a mouse, Howlround prove not only how much fun is to be had in making things complicated again, but conversely just how little effort is sometimes needed to create a genuinely uncanny and beguiling soundworld: the rough underbelly of our pristine, Pro-Tools universe. Their latest album – their fifth, an audio-visual collaboration with the Psyché-Tropes label – will be released in early summer 2016 and material from it is premiered at this concert.

Is it possible to represent thoughts as electronic frequencies? From the late 1940s onwards, Oxford’s Delawarr Radionic Laboratories conducted experiments to try to find an answer to this intriguing question. But their activities remained largely unknown, working as they were within the context of fringe science. With Radionics Radio, Resonance104.4fm/Sound and Music “Embedded” composer Daniel Wilson, joined by Toby Clarkson (of Oscillatorial Binnage), pays homage to these unusual electronic sound experiments and aligns them with contemporary electroacoustic music in an audio-visual suite by turns stunning and hilarious, ahead of this summer’s Sub Rosa CD release of Wilson’s Radionics Radio works. https://miraculousagitations.com/

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