ORGAN PREVIEW: The Lindsay Cooper Songbook celebrate International Women’s Day this Friday at London’s Cafe Oto with various Henry Cows and such…


Organ Preview: This time the band, or the Songbook as we might like to call them, are to be fronted lead vocalist Atsuko Kamura, “whose work we have admired for many years” s say the band.. Kamura began in music in the 80’s as vocalist and bassist of Mizutama Shobodan (Polka Dot Fire Brigade), the first feminist punk band in Japan. She toured the US with Tenko as the Honeymoons, joined the Frank Chickens in London, and the anglo-Japanese jazz progressive rock band Setsubun Bean Unit, and initiated projects such as I am a Kamura, with Robert Storey, and Kamura Obscura. Throughout her work she has maintained clear political, feminist, and ecological positions, campaigning recently against nuclear power, following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

The Lindsay Cooper Songbook were a treat last time that played London, various members of Henry Cow amongst others playing a beautifully executed selection of the late Lindsay Cooper’s compositions for the groups Henry Cow, News From Babel and Music for Films. Worth going just for the graceful elegance of Chris Cutler’s drumming.

The line up for the London show at Cafe Oto look s like this –
Yumi Hara – arrangements, piano, keyboards, lever harp, voice (The Artaud Beats, you me & us, Jump for Joy!, Frank Chickens, etc)
Chlöe Herington – bassoon, soprano sax, melodica (Knifeworld, Chrome Hoof, VÄLVĒ
Atsuko Kamura – voice (Polka Dot Fire Brigade, Frank Chickens, Kamura Obscura, etc)
Tim Hodgkinson – clarinet, alto sax, lap steel guitar (Henry Cow, Konk Pack, The Hyperion Ensemble, etc)
Chris Cutler – drums (Henry Cow, News from Babel, Peter Bregvad Quintet, Himmel, The Hyperion Ensemble, etc)
Mitsuru Nasuno – bass (Korekyojinn, Ground Zero, etc)

the line up for the show at Cafe Oto on Friday March 8th (International Women’s Day) show looks like this, Lindsay Cooper Songbook with support from The Watts, Chlöe Herington (solo), Mitsuru Nasuno (solo), Atsuko Kamura (solo) and Marina Organ (DJ) – More details via the Cafe Oto site

The Songbook Oto show will be previewed tonight when Yumi Hara joins Marina Organ on her Other Rock Show at London arts radio station Resonance 104.4FM at 9pm UK time tonight, here on your FM dial in London or worldwide on line (catch it on the Resonance mixcloud if you miss it tonight)

Yumi Hara is a Japanese composer and performer based in London. Her compositions have been performed by contemporary classical musicians such as the BBC Singers, PianoCircus, Michael Bonaventure and Jane Chapman, and was a finalist for British Composer Awards 2006, but became increasingly known as an improvisor/performer in avant/experimental rock/Canterbury/RIO since she released a CD album ‘Dune’ with Hugh Hopper (ex-Soft Machine) in 2008, subsequently formed bands and projects including The Artaud Beats (with Chris Cutler, John Greaves, Geoff Leigh, all from Henry Cow), you me & us (with Daevid Allen of Gong, Chris Cutler), Jump for Joy! (with Jean-Hervé Péron, Zappi and Geraldine Swayne of faUSt, Chris Cutler, Geoff Leigh) and THE WATTS (with Tim Hodgikinson, Chris Cutler). She is senior lecturer in music at University of East London.

ABOUT LINDSAY COOPER: Lindsay Cooper (1951-2013) brought the bassoon and the compositional techniques of 20th century art music into the world of ‘70s experimental rock. She was a musical polyglot, equally fluent in classical, rock, jazz, and free improvisation and the author of many film and theatre soundtracks. She was a member of the groups Comus, Henry Cow, National Health, David Thomas and the Pedestrians and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. She co-founded News from Babel and the Feminist Improvising Group and led her own projects Music for Films and Oh Moscow. She lived for many years with multiple sclerosis, which eventually forced her to retire from performing in the 1990s.

HISTORY: Yumi Hara formed Half The Sky in 2015 to perform Lindsay Cooper’s songs in Japan. The original group was entirely Japanese, with the exception of original drummer and lyricist Chris Cutler. This group – with small personnel changes – was later invited to Europe, when it was joined by the songs’ original singer Dagmar Krause. For these new European concerts the line-up adds two more members of Henry Cow, for whom much of this material was written, and we call ourselves Lindsay Cooper Songbook. As was true of the original bands Henry Cow and News From Babel – the new line-up retains an equal gender split.

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