The limits of electronics in free improvisation: Steve Beresford

Thursday 6th of September 2012, 7pm.

Musician Steve Beresford discusses his use of low-grade electronics on the context of decades of free improv.

Internationally known as a free improviser on piano and electronics, Steve Beresford has also composed scores for feature films and music for various TV shows and commercials.

Steve has worked with hundreds of musicians, including Derek Bailey, The Slits, Han Bennink, Christine Tobin, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Ray Davies, Ilan Volkov, Christian Marclay, David Toop, Najma Akhtar, Evan Parker, Adrian Sherwood, The Flying Lizards, Otomo Yoshihide and John Zorn.

He was born in Wellington, Shropshire in 1950. In 1974 he moved to London, playing piano with improvisers like Derek Bailey and also trumpet with the notorious Portsmouth Sinfonia, which included Brian Eno and Gavin Bryars.


He has had a long association with Swiss artist/musician Christian Marclay, performing realisations of Marclay’s ‘Screen Play’, ‘Ephemera’, ‘Graffiti Composition’, ‘Shuffle’, ‘Pianorama’ and ‘Everyday’, sometimes solo and sometimes with groups.


This year sees the second tour of ‘Indeterminacy’, in which comedian Stewart Lee reads one-minute stories by John Cage whilst Beresford and fellow pianist Tania Chen play music.


He plays with and conducts the London Improvisers Orchestra every month. He also regularly collaborates with musicians such as Elaine Mitchener, John Butcher, Satoko Fukuda and Shabaka Hutchings, playing at venues like Café Oto in Dalston, London.

Beresford has an extensive discography. Recent releases include a quartet convened by saxophonist Evan Parker – ‘Foxes Fox’ – (which includes drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo, bassist John Edwards and guest Kenny Wheeler on trumpet) and new solo recordings on CD and cassette, following up 1980’s ‘Bath of Surprise’. He is also producing a series of CDs of material from the archives of guitarist Derek Bailey.

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