Mercury Over Maps 10 : Bill Thompson, Steph Horak & Paul Khimasia Morgan. Saturday June 15 19:30

Bill Thompson is a sound artist and composer whose work has been performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad.

A native of Texas, he relocated to the UK in 2004 to pursue a PhD in Composition. Since then he has received numerous awards and commissions including the PRS for New Music ATOM award, the GAVAA visual arts award, a PRS for New Music Three Festival commission, the 2010 Aberdeen Visual Arts Award, and was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Award in 2012.

As an artist, he has a particular interest in perception and embodied presence. His installations and performances frequently utilize found objects, field recordings, repurposed live electronics, and digital media to create environments that encourage active attention to each moment. He applies this same strategy within his compositional work which often include long sustained tones, densely layered textures, and indeterminate or improvised structures. He has written for a range of instruments including voice, guitar, contrabass, bagpipe, percussion, organ, string quartet, mixed ensembles and live electronics. As a solo performer he works primarily with live electronics although originally trained as a guitarist.

In addition to working as a solo artist, Thompson has collaborated with choreographer Ian Spink for several years in their company Airfield. Their work together blurs the distinctions between dance, theatre, music and installation. Additionally, he has worked with several other well-known artists including Keith Rowe, Faust, EXAUDI and others.

He is also an avid supporter of new music and is the director of the Burning Harpsichord Series, a concert programme devoted to high calibre experimental music. He also co-directs the multidisciplinary artist workshop fast+Dirty with Ian Spink, lectures at the University of Surrey and teaches collaborative arts practice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Steph Horak is a sound and video artist. As a vocalist/producer she experiments with different systems for voice and composition, whether through the use of self-programmed systems, or combinations of DIY hardware and electronic instruments. These experiments can be found under the moniker SheIsRevolting. Stylistically they edge somewhere between experimental electronica, traditional songwriting, and conceptual pieces. Recent sound projects include threehundredandsixtysix, where Horak sings a note a day for a year.

Through her video installations Horak reframes mundane and common experiences in hypnotic settings, such as in Commutations I and II which are explorations of the urban environment and transportation systems in London comprised of some 70 videos filmed out of bus (Commutations I) and train (Commutations II) windows. The films are presented in triptych on loop with soundtracks in part comprised from the videos native sound.

Her photographic series Manscapes is a reflection of the traces of man in the seemingly barren landscapes of Iceland. She conducts ongoing light experiments for her Still Life series. Her documentation photography of artworks has been published in the New York Times, BBC online, and in various books about robotic and computational artwork.

Horak performs regularly on the London experimental/improvisation scene, details of events can be found here. Alongside her artistic activity Horak works in the field of contemporary electro-acoustic and academic music, project management and exhibition production. She has produced exhibitions for artist Patrick Tresset at Pompidou Centre, (Paris), Merge Festival (with Tate Modern), and Ars Electronica (Linz). She produced the 14th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, the Creative Machine Exhibition. As a community arts practitioner she worked with seldom-heard and hard to reach groups across London in therapeutic music, art, and social contexts.

Paul Khimasia Morgan is an improviser whose practice is concerned with attempting to produce a musicality from seemingly non-musical objects. He has previously worked with broken zither and textural surfaces but currently uses an amplified acoustic guitar body. He performs in groupings with Steve Beresford and Blanca Regina, Daniel Spicer, Simon Whetham, and Mark Wastell’s THE SEEN. His latest release is with Daniel Spicer; a cassette, Sepertae, released on Richard Sanderson’s Linear Obsessional imprint. His most recent solo album, Peoplegrowold was released on Mark Wastell’s Confront label.

Paul collaborated with artists Joseph Young and Kay Aplin to produce a series of sound-art concerts and talks in 2016 which featured Beresford and Regina, Cathy Lane, Felicity Ford and John Kannenberg which resulted in Paul’s piece, slow kiln, being included on the Landscape : Islands compilation. His previous work appears on labels including Linear Obsessional, Absence Of Wax, Crónica, engraved glass and Con-V. Paul has previously collaborated in various ways with Helen Frosi, Richard Sanderson, Simon Whetham, Seth Cooke, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Charlotte Keefe, Jason Kahn, Michael Fairfax & Barry Witherden, Claire Elizabeth Barrett and Ryu Hankil.

Paul curates Aural Detritus Concert Series runs the Aural Detritus and TSOKL labels and writes about new music for The Sound Projector and Honest Music For Dishonest Times.


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