Saturday, October 21, 7 p.m. at La Centrale
My improvised performances are born of a curiosity for resonance: how to make the soft, invisible characteristics of a space and its harder limits resonate; how to make materials of all kinds resonate; how to make time resonate, so that durations and our sense of fast or slow are in a complex state of vibration; how to make memory resonate, so that the ghosts of sound and the emptiness of silence penetrate personal history. The materials I use vary: some are conventional musical instruments, others are electronic, still others are acoustic, some are autonomous, others are humble, abject, in a state of decomposition or without limits. All pose the question of what an instrument really is, a conglomerate whose pieces can only be assembled in the darkness of an averted view. (David Toop)
Born in 1949 in Enfield (UK)
Lives in London
David Toop has been developing a practice that transcends the boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. It encompasses improvised musical performance (flute and guitar), electronic sound, field recording, writing, curating exhibitions, sound art installations and opera.
Described as a master of ambient, he has collaborated with many musicians and artists from other fields, and was a member of the Flying Lizards. He is as much responsible for rare recordings of Yanomami ritual chants during an exploration in Brazil in 1978 (published in 2006 as Last Shadows on Sub Rosa), as for a pioneering book on hip-hop that has been reissued and expanded several times (Rap Attack, 1984-2000). His major book, Ocean of Sound, was published in paperback by Éditions de l'éclat in 2002. Subtitled "Ambient music, mondes imaginaires et voix de l'éther", it follows the author's encounters and travels since his birth. We come across Edgar Varèse, Brian Eno, Sun Ra, Erik Satie, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley... and all their references, from Debussy to the drums of Burundi.
David Toop's discography is as rich as his bibliography, with 14 albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments, a collaboration with Max Eastley on Brian Eno's Obscure label (1975), to Apparition Paintings (2021).
A regular contributor to numerous publications including The Wire, The Face and The Village Voice, David Toop has also been a teacher and curator.