Flutter Echo: Living Within Sound — David Toop & Tania Caroline Chen
Where: ISSUE Project Room
110 Livingston St.
718-330-0313 Price: $15
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Wednesday, September 18th, ISSUE is pleased to present a conversation and performance from renowned musician and author David Toop alongside free improviser and composer Tania Caroline Chen — both artists’ debut appearance at ISSUE. One of the most significant figures in contemporary modern music thinking, writing and reportage, Toop has created a remarkably distinctive publishing history of intensified studies into World Music in relation to popular (as well as marginalized) contemporary trends. The evening celebrates the publication of Toop’s autobiography Flutter Echo: Living Within Sound by Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace Library.
Flutter Echo is an essay in sonic memory, the heart fluttering as time loops in long and short delays, the reverberation of sounds from moving sources ricocheting in the air between parallel surfaces, their transformation in enclosed acoustic space a metaphor of bodies and thought forms abraded and made barely recognizable by cycles of time and the circumstances of life. A memoir of a lifetime working within sound, listening, and music, David Toop’s Flutter Echo opens into new collaborative possibilities with Tania Caroline Chen.
Their duo experiments with the eerie, the violent, the turbulent, the soft, the uncomfortable, with hermetic dialogue, astro-electronics and scenes of mystery that unfold into perplexity and shadow. The performance comes in two stages, overlapping and complementary, one of them conventionally called a “conversation,” using voices; the other conventionally called a “musical performance,” using instruments. What does the juxtaposition of these two formats add to each of them? Do they disturb each other’s settled nature?
“A memoir is simply a vehicle to talk about the ideas I find important, the difficulties and inspirations of following a life dedicated to marginal music, the richness of collaborative work and the inseparability of life and art.”
David Toop has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. This encompasses improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. It includes seven acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016), Flutter Echo, a memoir first published in Japan in 2017 (May 2019), and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2020). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released thirteen solo albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments on Brian Eno’s Obscure label (1975) and Sound Body on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label (2006) to Entities Inertias Faint Beings (2016). His 1978 Amazonas recordings of Yanomami shamanism and ritual were released on Sub Rosa as Lost Shadows (2016). In recent years his collaborations include Rie Nakajima, Akio Suzuki, Tania Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and a revived Alterations, the iconoclastic improvising quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and Terry Day first formed in 1977. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in 2012. He is currently Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.
Tania Caroline Chen is based in New York and London. She has made a name as a compelling and unpredictable sound artist utilising the material worlds of piano, astro-electronics, and the intrinsic sonorities of objects, words, and dream landscapes. Her commissioned video, acoustic and electronic compositions “Strands”, “Themes for a Story”, “Icons of Elegance”, “Color Fields”, and “Solo for Circuit Bent Radio”, have been performed live in the USA, Europe and Asia and aired on BBC Radio 3 and KPFA Radio, California. She has recorded and improvised with Stewart Lee, Steve Beresford, Henry Kaiser, William Winant, Wobbly, Wadada Leo Smith, Thurston Moore, David Toop, Anna Homler and Carl Stone. She plays in the electronics band TENDER BUTTONS. She has also revisited scores from a 21st century perspective: an electronic and video realisation of Luc Ferrari’s “Madame de Shanghai”, Morton Feldman’s “Triadic Memories” and John Cage’s “Indeterminacy.” Her recent album John Cage’s “Electronic Music for Piano” was nominated in 2018 for a Grammy award. Tania Caroline Chen is currently writing a book while sitting in airports and aeroplanes and is recording a duo album with David Toop.Buy tickets/get more info now