David Toop & Avsluta
David Toop and Avsluta are friends, collaborators and occasional co-performers in various constellations. After their 2021 set at NEXT Festival in Cafe OTO London that was released this year on NEXT Festival Records they will come together yet again, first time in Bratislava.
Care intention, but also playfulness and curiosity characterize the duo’s relationship with sound objects when they improvise. The aforementioned release Haunted Tape Found in the Attic, All Covered in Dirt and Spells embodies these qualities even in its name; the duo treats the plethora of objects and sounds as if they were exploring a long-forgotten secret attic. They navigate among and within the sounds with tangible fascination, gentleness and inquisitiveness, treating homemade instruments, toys, found cassettes, treasured wind instruments, mechanical devices, and the most mundane of objects with equal care and significance.
The result of these joint concerts is a fascinating sound meditation, one which conjures visions of both a deep investigation as well as an expedition. It’s a testament to David Toop and Avsluta’s common language, improvisational proficiency, but most of all their willingness to listen.
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) and forthcoming – 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, John Butcher, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and many more. 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.
Lucie Štěpánková is a sound artist, electro-acoustic composer and performer, free-improviser and lecturer of improvisation and performative practice at London College of Communication. Inquiry about our being in, experiencing and interacting with the world through the lens of deep ecology and new materialist theories is at the core of her practice.
Lucie works with objects and natural materials, field recordings, electronics and digital processing to embody speculative narratives challenging our understanding of reality and in so doing seeks to unlock its potential for transformation. The general aim of her practice is to encourage audiences to engage in listening as an active-creative practice, reconnect with and embody emotions, and discover new approaches towards solidarity as understood within the framework of deep ecology.